Syllabus for Fluid Mechanics



  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA253
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Technology A1N, Physics A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2010-03-18
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2022-10-20
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2023
  • Entry requirements:

    120 credits including Mathematical Methods of Physics. Participation in Scientific Computing for Partial Differential Equation. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall be able to:

  • describe variables and basic equations of fluid mechanics
  • define and describe the potential and vortex flows of ideal and viscous fluids
  • describe the fluid flow around symmetric bodies and determine the drag and lift forces arising due to this flow
  • describe the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow and calculate the characteristics of the boundary layer both for laminar and turbulent flows
  • apply dimensional analysis for a qualitative description of fluid flows
  • describe the main features of wave phenomena in various fluids and determine the properties of surface and internal gravity waves
  • define and analyse the stability of fluid flows


Key concepts and laws of fluid mechanics. Basic equations of fluid mechanics for ideal and viscous flows. Incompressible flows. Hydrostatic equilibrium and its stability. Helmholtz and Kelvins theorems. Potential flow and complex flow potential. Flows around cylinders and spheres. Two-dimensional wing theory. Analysis of viscous flows. Boundary layers. Dimensional analysis and comparison with experimental data. Typical Reynolds numbers for laminar and turbulent flow. Elements of the theory of turbulence. Surface and internal waves in fluids. Stability of fluid flows. Kelvin-Helmholtz and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. Use of numerical software within fluid mechanics.


Lectures, guest lecture, lessons and computer assignments.


Written examination at the end of the course (4 credits). Computer assignments (1 credit).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2023

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Kochukhov, O.; Pavlenko, V.; Rosenqvist, E. Fluid mechanics, lecture notes

    Institutionen för fysik och astronomi, 2021