Introduction to Continuum Physics
Place and Times
Office: Howey W304 (office hours: Thursday 3-4pm)
Phone: (404) 385-1130
Tuesday & Thursday, 1:55pm-2:55pm
Room S106, Howey Physics Building
Continuum physics describes the macroscopic physical world around us. The course offers a modern, unified introduction to the basic concepts and phenomenology of spatially extended macroscopic systems. Although it covers topics in both fluid dynamics and elasticity theory, unlike courses offered by engineering departments that focus on the applications, the focus of this class is on fundamental principles and modeling. The course is intended primarily for senior undergraduate and graduate students in physics, biology, math, and geophysics.
Benny Lautrup, "Physics of Continuous Matter: Exotic and Everyday Phenomena in the Macroscopic World," 2nd Ed. (CRC Press, 2011).
Additional information and errata to this book are available here.
There will be a mid-term and a final exam. The final grade will be based on
the results of these exams (30% for the midterm, 50% for the final) and the homeworks (20%). Homework assignments will be posted on the web every Thursday and will be due in class next Thursday. In general, you are expected to comply with the academic honor code.
A = 80-100%,
B = 70-80%,
C = 60-70%,
D = 50-60%,
F = 0-50%
- Continuum approximation
Additional information about
the planets of our solar system.
- Hydrostatic shapes
- Surface tension
- Jet break-up and the capillary effect
- Droplets and bubbles
- Linear elasticity
- Elastic equilibrium
- Elastic vibrations
- Fluid flow
- Euler equation
- Potential flow
- Boundary layers
- Creeping flow
- Surface waves
- Fluid turbulence
Final (due 5/5/16 at 12 noon)
- assignment #1: problems; solutions
- assignment #2: 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8; solutions
- assignment #3: problems; solutions
- assignment #4: 3.2, 3.3 (there is no lead weight in part b), 3.6, 3.8, 3.13; solutions
- assignment #5: problems; solutions
- assignment #6: problems; solutions
- assignment #7: 7.4, 7.5, 7.10; solutions
- assignment #8: problems; solutions
- assignment #9: problems; solutions
- assignment #10: 9.7, 9.9, 24.1, 24.4, 24.6; solutions
- assignment #11: problems; solutions
- assignment #12: problems; solutions
Course Instructor Opinion Survey
- This is a take-home exam. Download the assignment here.
Please fill out the online
This is your real opportunity to provide feedback regarding the contents of the
course, the style and quality of the presentation, or any other subject related
to the course. Tell us what you liked and what you did not like. Your input is
very valuable and will benefit students taking this course in subsequent years.