MEK4100 – Mathematical Methods in Mechanics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course offers an introduction to some key topics of mathematics applied in physics. The first major topic is dimensional analysis, scaling and perturbation techniques. Included are regular and singular perturbations, the Poincare-Lindstedt´s method, boundary layers, multiple scale expansions and the WKB method. The perturbation solutions are verified by and compared to numerical solutions. The second major topic is calculus of variation and Hamilton´s principle. The application of the methods and theory in the course is demonstrated through solution of selected problems from mechanics and other natural sciences.

Learning outcome

After completing the course you

  • master the Pi theorem and know how to scale equations with regard to application of perturbation techniques or other mathematical approaches
  • master dominant balance analysis and application of the perturbation techniques in the syllabus
  • have knowledge of key properties of asymptotic expansions and approximations
  • know the derivation of the Euler equations from a series of basic problems of variation
  • can apply Hamilton´s principle to simple physical systems.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants

Overlapping courses


4 hours of lectures per week throughout the semester.

The course may be taught in Norwegian if the lecturer and all students at the first lecture agree to it.

Upon the attendance of three or fewer students, the lecturer may, in conjunction with the Head of Teaching, change the course to self-study with supervision.


Final written exam or final oral exam, which counts 100 % towards the final grade.

The form of examination will be announced by the lecturer by 15 October/15 March for the autumn semester and the spring semester respectively.

This course has 2 mandatory assignments that must be approved before you can sit the final exam.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: MEK3100 – Mathematical Methods in Mechanics (discontinued).

Examination support material

Written examination: Rottmann's formula list and approved calculators are allowed. Information about approved calculators in Norwegian.

Oral examination: No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

Courses taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English. You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) June 28, 2022 1:32:38 PM

Facts about this course


Spring 2022

Taught according to demand and resources. Contact if you are interested in this course.

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)