Standard Article

Similarity Theory

Physical Processes

  1. Zbigniew Sorbjan1,2

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vnn126

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Sorbjan, Z. 2013. Similarity Theory. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 5.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA

  2. 2

    Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


A general method of finding universal relationships between physical variables is described. The approach is illustrated by several examples, such as finding the period of an ideal pendulum, velocity profile near a flat surface, and characteristic of the atmospheric surface layer.


  • dimensional analysis;
  • ideal pendulum;
  • logarithmic velocity profile;
  • atmospheric surface layer;
  • monin–obukhov similarity