TU Delft
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2012/2013 Applied Sciences Master Applied Physics
AP3032 G
Continuum Physics
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts    D.J.E.M.Roekaerts@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Dr.ing. S. Kenjeres    S.Kenjeres@tudelft.nl
Dr.ir. M.J. Tummers    M.J.Tummers@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
The continuum description of the mechanics of solids and liquids is discussed in a unified approach using tensor analysis. Deformations of a body are studied and the concept of the strain tensor and the rate-of-deformation tensor are introduced. This is followed by a discussion of the stress tensor, and the equations of motion of a body are derived based on the balances of linear and angular momentum. For linear elastic solids the following topics are discussed: constitutive equation, Navier equations, energy principles. For Newtonian fluids we discuss the stress tensor, Navier-Stokes equations, and the first and second law of thermodynamics. The lecture series is then continued with a number of special topics a.o. multicomponent reacting flow (combustion), thermal convection and magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD).
Study Goals
After the course the students should:
Be able to apply the basic elements of tensor analysis to derive the equations describing the behavior of various continuous systems mechanics (in particular solids and fluids) using the conservation of mass, momentum and energy as a starting point.
Be able to explain the similarities and differences between the solid and fluid mechanics, and to solve simple problems in both fields.
Be able to analyze other continuous systems such as those describing magneto-hydrodynamics, turbulent thermal convection and combustion.
Be able to identify some relevant aspects of physics of continuous media in practical situations
Education Method
Theory presented in lectures. Practice sessions to make exercises. Assignments to be made at home.
Literature and Study Materials
The general part of the course is based on the following books:
- T.J. Chung, General Continuum Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, 2007, ISBN-10:0521-87406-8 (pbk.) and ISBN-13:978-0-521-87406-9

B. Lautrup, Physics of continuous matter: Exotic and Everyday Phenomena in the Macroscopic World (Paperback), Routledge, 978-0-7503-0752-9
Second edition (2011)
ISBN: 9781420077001
ISBN 10: 1420077007
Written exam at end of second period. Final mark partially based on the performance in the assignments.