MAGIC090: Introduction to Continuum Mechanics

Course details

A core MAGIC course


Autumn 2017
Monday, October 9th to Friday, December 15th


Live lecture hours
Recorded lecture hours
Total advised study hours


13:05 - 13:55


This course covers the mathematics and physics underlying continuum mechanics. Emphasis will be on elsasticity and fluid dynamics. The course begins with an in depth review and formulation of vectors and tensors in arbitrary coordinate systems. We then discuss Eulerian (fixed coordinate) and Lagrangian (moving coordinate) descriptions of motion. The lectures will then cover basic principles of elasticity, including stress and strain tensors, Hooke's law, and the Poisson ratio. Load paths and averaging processes for heterogeneous materials will also be considered. The course will move to fluid flows, covering Navier-Stokes equations, and some examples of non-Newtonian fluids.


Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, Newtonian Dynamics


1. Vectors and tensors. Coordinate transformations
2. Metrics. Derivatives of vectors and tensors
3. Deformation: Eulerian and Lagrangian descriptions of motion
4. Stress and strain tensors
5. Linear equilibrium elasticity theory
6. Fluid flow
7. Non-Newtonian fluids


  • MB

    Professor Mitchell Berger

    University of Exeter


Follow the link for a book to take you to the relevant Google Book Search page

You may be able to preview the book there and see links to places where you can buy the book. There is also link marked 'Find this book in a library' - this sometimes works well, but not always - you will need to enter your location, but it will be saved after you do that for the first time.

  • Applied Solid Mechanics (Peter Howell, Gregory Kozyreff and John Ockendon, )
  • Non-Linear Elastic Deformations (R W Ogden, )
  • FusionWiki Flux Coordinates (, )
  • A First Course in Continuum Mechanics (O. Gonzalez and A.M. Stuart, )


The assessment for this course will be released on Monday 8th January 2018 and is due in by Sunday 21st January 2018 at 23:59.

The assessment for this course will be via a single take-home paper in January with 2 weeks to complete and submit online. There will be 5 questions and you will need the equivalent of 3 questions to pass.

Please note that you are not registered for assessment on this course.


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