MEK4100 – Mathematical Methods in Mechanics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

MEK4100 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.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

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


Recommended previous knowledge

MAT1100 – Calculus og MAT-INF1100 – Modelling and Computations. It can be useful to have taken MAT1110 – Calculus and Linear Algebra and FYS-MEK1110 – Mechanics.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with MEK3100 – Mathematical Methods in Mechanics (discontinued)

*The information about overlaps for discontinued courses may not be complete. If you have questions, please contact the Department. 


4 hours of lectures per week.

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.


mandatory assignments.

Final written examination.


Examination support material

Rottmann's formula list and approved calculator.
Information about approved calculators (Norwegian only)

Language of examination

Subjects 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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2020

Autumn 2019

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


Autumn 2020

Autumn 2019

The same semester as taught.

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)