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Fluid flow in which the fluid travels smoothly or in regular paths. The velocity, pressure, and other flow properties at each point in the fluid remain constant. Laminar flow over a horizontal surface may be thought of as consisting of thin layers, all parallel to each other, that slide over each other. It is common only where the flow channel is relatively small, the fluid is moving slowly, and its viscosity is relatively high. Examples include the flow of oil through a thin tube and blood flow through capillaries. See alsoturbulent flow.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on laminar flow, visit Britannica.com.