In the macroscopic world, most materials that surround us e.g.
solids and liquids can safely be assumed to exist as continua, that
is, the materials completely fill the space they occupy and the
underlying atomic structures can be neglected. The course offers a
modern introduction to the physics of continuous matter with an
emphasis on examples from natural occurring systems (e.g. in the
physics of complex systems and the Earth sciences). Focus is
equally on the underlying formalism of continuum mechanics and
phenomenology. In the course you will become familiar with the
mechanical behavior of materials ranging from viscous fluids to
A description of the deformation of solids is given, including the concepts of mechanical equilibrium, the stress and strain tensors, linear elasticity. A derivation is given of the Navier-Cauchy equation as well as examples from elastostatics and elastodynamics including elastic waves. A description of fluids in motion is given including the Euler equations, potential flow, Stokes' flow and the Navier-Stokes equation. Examples of numerical modeling of continous matter will be given.
MSc Programme in Physics
MSc Programme in Physics with a minor subject
At the conclusion of the course students will be able to use the fundamental physical laws of mass conservation, conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy to derive partial differential equations describing the behavior of objects modeled as a continuum. The students will be able to calculate the stress and strain during small deformations of linear elastic materials in simple geometries as well as basic examples of fluid flow.
The student will be able 1) to describe the flow of ideal fluids in basic idealized systems 2) to describe in detail the Navier-Stokes equation and 3) be familiar with stress and strain tensors, linear elasticity and the Navier-Cauchy equation
This course will provide the students with a competent background for further studies within this research field, e.g. an M.Sc. project.
The course will provide the students with tools that have application in a range of fields within and beyond physics.
Lectures and exercises
To be announced on Absalon
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
- Type of assessment details
- Without preparation time
- Without aids
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
More internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment
Single subject courses (day)
- Theory exercises
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Block 3
- No restriction
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
- Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience
- The Niels Bohr Institute
- Faculty of Science
- Aslak Grinsted (5-66787166704573676e33707a336970)
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Courseinformation of students