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Continuum Mechanics

Module PH1007

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2014/5

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2015/6WS 2014/5

Basic Information

PH1007 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Theory courses for Biophysics
  • Theory courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Specialization Modules in Elite-Master Program Theoretical and Mathematical Physics (TMP)

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
300 h 180 h 10 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH1007 in the version of WS 2014/5 was J. Leo van Hemmen.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  1. Kinematics of deformable media (velocity field of a fluid / continuity equation)

  2. Hydrodynamics (stress tensor and viscosity / fundamental equations: Euler & Navier-Stokes / Bernoulli equation / Aerofoil theory / viscosity and Reynolds number / high Reynolds numbers and turbulence / small Reynolds numbers / waves / tsunamis)

  3. Elasticity (stress tensor / energy balance / linear theory of elasticity: Hooke’s law / elastic waves / thin plates)

Learning Outcome

Successful participation provides the following skills:

Understanding hydrodynamics both in a scientific and in a technical context, fundamental equations such as Navier-Stokes, their range of validity, importance of scales and consequences such as the Reynolds number that provides a semi-quantitative criterion to predict laminar flow or turbulence. In addition, one gains an understanding of wave phenomena in elastic media and liquids, incl. surface waves, shallow-water waves and the ensuing tsunami theory.


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, beamer presentation, blackboard, exercises alone and in small groups, discussion


Vorlesungsskript, Übungsblätter, begleitende Internetseite


* D.J. Acheson, Elementary fluid dynamics
* H. Stephani & G. Kluge, Theoretische Mechanik
* Landau/Lifshitz, Theory of Elasticity (Theoretical Physics 7)


Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The learning ourcome is tested in a written exam using example calculations and comprehension questions.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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