Sydney Goldstein FRS[1] (3 December 1903, Kingston upon Hull – 22 January 1989, Cambridge, MA) was a British mathematician noted for his contribution to fluid dynamics.[2][3] He is described as: :"... one of those who most influenced progress in fluid dynamics during the 20th century."[1]

He was especially known for his work on steady-flow laminar boundary-layer equations and on the turbulent resistance to rotation of a disk in a fluid. Goldstein was extremely knowledgeable on aerodynamics and his work had a significant impact in that area[2]

Goldstein went to school at Bede Collegiate School in Sunderland[4] and went on to the University of Leeds in 1921 where he studied mathematics but was to move to St John's College, Cambridge graduating from the Mathematical Tripos, 1925 and gaining the Smith's Prize in 1927. He was awarded an Isaac Newton Studentship to continue research in applied mathematics under Harold Jeffreys. His PhD thesis was entitled The Theory And Application Of Mathieu Functions' in 1928.[3]

He was awarded Rockefeller Research Fellow and spent a year working in University of Göttingen.[2] In 1929 he became a fellow of St John's College but later the same year was appointed to a Lectureship in Mathematics at the University of Manchester. At Manchester the influence of Osborne Reynolds and Horace Lamb in fluid dynamics was still felt there and had a strong effect on Goldstein.[2] Moving to Cambridge in 1931 he took over the editorship of Modern Developments in Fluid Dynamics on Lamb's death.

During World War II Goldstein worked on boundary layer theory at the National Physical Laboratory and at the end of the war he was appointed to the Beyer Chair of Applied Mathematics in Manchester.

Goldstein strongly supported the State of Israel and in 1950 he accepted the chairmanship of the department of mathematics at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. having made a major contribution to the establishment of the Technion he found the administrative load too heavy[2] and moved again, accepting the chair of Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Mathematics at Harvard University in 1954.[4] He retired in 1968 but continued as an emeritus professor at Harvard.



  • (ed) Modern Developments in Fluid Dynamics, 1938
  • Lectures on Fluid Mechanics, 1960