PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Philip Geoffrey Saffman, an expert in fluid mechanics, has died in Pasadena, Calif. He was 77.
Saffman was the Theodore von Karman Professor of Applied Mathematics and Aeronautics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology, the university said in a release. He was known for his study of vortex instability and the dynamics of arrays of vortices.
The phenomenon of viscous fingering, which occurs when a low-viscosity fluid is injected into a higher-viscosity fluid, became known as the "Saffman-Taylor Instability."
"He really was one of the leading figures in fluid mechanics," Dan Meiron, a professor of applied and computational math at Caltech, told the Los Angeles Times. "He had an impact in almost every field of the science."
Saffman, a native of Britain, was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow to Britain's Royal Society. He was a recipient of the Otto Laporte Award from the American Physical Society.