In fluid dynamics, the Hagen–Poiseuille equation, also known as the Hagen–Poiseuille law, Poiseuille law or Poiseuille equation, is a physical law that gives the pressure drop in a fluid flowing through a long cylindrical pipe. It can be successfully applied to blood flow in capillaries and veins, to air flow in lung alveoli, for the flow through a drinking straw or through a hypodermic needle. It was experimentally derived independently by Gotthilf Heinrich Ludwig Hagen in 1839 and Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille in 1838, and published by Poiseuille in 1840 and 1846.
The assumptions of the equation are that the fluid is viscous and incompressible; the flow is laminar through a pipe of constant circular cross-section that is substantially longer than its diameter; and there is no acceleration of fluid in the pipe. For velocities and pipe diameters above a threshold, actual fluid flow is not laminar but turbulent, leading to larger pressure drops than calculated by the Hagen–Poiseuille equation.
Standard fluid dynamics notation 
- is the pressure drop
- is the length of pipe
- is the dynamic viscosity
- is the volumetric flow rate
- is the radius
- is the diameter
- is the mathematical constant Pi
Physics notation 
where in compatible units (e.g., S.I.):
- is the volumetric flow rate (denoted as above)
- is the volume of the liquid transferred as a function of time,
- is mean fluid velocity along the length of the tube
- is distance in direction of flow
- is the internal radius of the tube
- is the pressure difference between the two ends
- is the dynamic fluid viscosity (S.I. unit: pascal-second (Pa·s)),
- is the length of the tube
The equation does not hold close to the pipe entrance.:3
The equation fails in the limit of low viscosity, wide and/or short pipe. Low viscosity or a wide pipe may result in turbulent flow, making it necessary to use more complex models, such as Darcy-Weisbach equation. If the pipe is too short, the Hagen–Poiseuille equation may result in unphysically high flow rates; the flow is bounded by Bernoulli's principle, under less restrictive conditions, by
Relation to Darcy–Weisbach 
where Re is the Reynolds number and ρ fluid density. In this form the law approximates the Darcy friction factor, the energy (head) loss factor, friction loss factor or Darcy (friction) factor Λ in the laminar flow at very low velocities in cylindrical tube. The theoretical derivation of a slightly different form of the law was made independently by Wiedman in 1856 and Neumann and E. Hagenbach in 1858 (1859, 1860). Hagenbach was the first who called this law the Poiseuille's law.
The Poiseuilles' law was later in 1891 extended to turbulent flow by L. R. Wilberforce, based on Hagenbach's work.
The Hagen–Poiseuille equation can be derived from the Navier–Stokes equations.
The derivation of Poiseuille's law is surprisingly simple, but it requires an understanding of viscosity. When two layers of liquid in contact with each other move at different speeds, there will be a shear force between them. This force is proportional to the area of contact A, the velocity gradient in the direction of flow , and a proportionality constant η (viscosity) and is given by
The negative sign is in there because we are concerned with the faster moving liquid (top in figure), which is being slowed by the slower liquid (bottom in figure). By Newton's third law of motion, the force on the slower liquid is equal and opposite (no negative sign) to the force on the faster liquid. This equation assumes that the area of contact is so large that we can ignore any effects from the edges and that the fluids behave as Newtonian fluids.
Liquid flow through a pipe 
In a tube we make a basic assumption: the liquid in the center is moving fastest while the liquid touching the walls of the tube is stationary (due to the no-slip condition).
To simplify the situation, let's assume that there are a bunch of circular layers (lamina) of liquid, each having a velocity determined only by their radial distance from the center of the tube.
To figure out the motion of the liquid, we need to know all forces acting on each lamina:
- The force pushing the liquid through the tube is the change in pressure multiplied by the area: . This force is in the direction of the motion of the liquid - the negative sign comes from the conventional way we define .
- The pull from the faster lamina immediately closer to the center of the tube
- The drag from the slower lamina immediately closer to the walls of the tube.
The first of these forces comes from the definition of pressure. The other two forces require us to modify the equations above that we have for viscosity. In fact, we are not modifying the equations, instead merely plugging in values specific to our problem. Let's focus on the pull from the faster lamina (#2) first.
Faster lamina 
Assume that we are figuring out the force on the lamina with radius . From the equation above, we need to know the area of contact and the velocity gradient. Think of the lamina as a ring of radius and thickness . The area of contact between the lamina and the faster one is simply the area of the inside of the cylinder: . We don't know the exact form for the velocity of the liquid within the tube yet, but we do know (from our assumption above) that it is dependent on the radius. Therefore, the velocity gradient is the change of the velocity with respect to the change in the radius at the intersection of these two laminae. That intersection is at a radius of . So, considering that this force will be positive with respect to the movement of the liquid (but the derivative of the velocity is negative), the final form of the equation becomes
where the vertical bar and subscript s following the derivative indicates that it should be taken at a radius of .
Slower lamina 
Next let's find the force of drag from the slower lamina. We need to calculate the same values that we did for the force from the faster lamina. In this case, the area of contact is at s+ds instead of s. Also, we need to remember that this force opposes the direction of movement of the liquid and will therefore be negative (and that the derivative of the velocity is negative).
Putting it all together 
To find the solution for the flow of liquid through a tube, we need to make one last assumption. There is no acceleration of liquid in the pipe, and by Newton's first law, there is no net force. If there is no net force then we can add all of the forces together to get zero
First, to get everything happening at the same point, use the first two terms of a Taylor series expansion of the velocity gradient:
Also, use r instead of s since the lamina was arbitrary and the expression must be valid for all laminae. Grouping like terms and dropping the vertical bar since all derivatives are assumed to be at radius r,
Finally, put this expression in the form of a differential equation, dropping the term quadratic in dr.
It can be seen that both sides of the equations are negative: there is a drop of pressure along the tube (left side) and both first and second derivatives of the velocity are negative (velocity has a maximum value of the center of the tube). Using the chain rule, the equation may be re-arranged to:
This differential equation is subject to the following boundary conditions:
- at -- "no-slip" boundary condition at the wall
- at -- axial symmetry.
Axial symmetry means that the velocity v(r) is maximum at the center of the tube, therefore the first derivative is zero at r = 0.
The differential equation can be integrated to:
To find A and B, we use the boundary conditions.
First, the symmetry boundary condition indicates:
- at r = 0.
A solution possible only if A = 0. Next the no-slip boundary condition is applied to the remaining equation:
Now we have a formula for the velocity of liquid moving through the tube as a function of the distance from the center of the tube
or, at the center of the tube where the liquid is moving fastest (r = 0) with R being the radius of the tube,
Poiseuille's Law 
To get the total volume that flows through the tube, we need to add up the contributions from each lamina. To calculate the flow through each lamina, we multiply the velocity (from above) and the area of the lamina.
Finally, we integrate over all lamina via the radius variable r.
Poiseuille's equation for compressible fluids 
For a compressible fluid in a tube the volumetric flow rate and the linear velocity is not constant along the tube. The flow is usually expressed at outlet pressure. As fluid is compressed or expands, work is done and the fluid is heated and cooled. This means that the flow rate depends on the heat transfer to and from the fluid. For an ideal gas in the isothermal case, where the temperature of the fluid is permitted to equilibrate with its surroundings, and when the pressure difference between ends of the pipe is small, the volumetric flow rate at the pipe outlet is given by
- inlet pressure
- outlet pressure
- is the length of tube
- is the viscosity
- is the radius
- is the volume of the fluid at outlet pressure
- is the velocity of the fluid at outlet pressure
This is usually a good approximation when the flow velocity is less than mach 0.3
This equation can be seen as Poiseuille's law with an extra correction factor expressing the average pressure relative to the outlet pressure.
Electrical circuits analogy 
Electricity was originally understood to be a kind of fluid. This hydraulic analogy is still conceptually useful for understanding circuits. This analogy is also used to study the frequency response of fluid mechanical networks using circuit tools, in which case the fluid network is termed a hydraulic circuit.
This concept is useful because the effective resistance in a tube is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the radius. This means that halving the radius of the tube increases the resistance to fluid movement by a factor of 16.
Both Ohm's law and Poiseuille's law illustrate transport phenomena.
See also 
- Kirby, B.J. (2010). Micro- and Nanoscale Fluid Mechanics: Transport in Microfluidic Devices.. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-11903-0.
- Bruus, H. (2007). Theoretical Microfluidics.
- Vogel, Steven (1981). Life in Moving Fluids: The Physical Biology of Flow. PWS Kent Publishers. ASIN 0871507498. ISBN 0871507498.
- Determinants of blood vessel resistance
- Sutera, S. P.; Skalak, R. (1993). "The history of Poiseuille's law". Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 25: 1–19. Bibcode:1993AnRFM..25....1S. doi:10.1146/annurev.fl.25.010193.000245.
- Pfitzner, J (1976). "Poiseuille and his law". Anaesthesia 31 (2) (1976 Mar). pp. 273–5. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2044.1976.tb11804.x. PMID 779509. PMID:779509.
- Bennett, C. O.; Myers, J. E. (1962). Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer. McGraw-Hill.