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Syllabus for

Academic year
FFY371 - Theory of matter and waves
Syllabus adopted 2009-02-23 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKVOV
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: Swedish
Block schedule: LA

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0197 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   16 Dec 2013 am V,  25 Apr 2014 am M,  26 Aug 2014 pm V

In programs

TKVOV CIVIL ENGINEERING, Year 2 (compulsory)


Professor  Wolfgang Kropp

Course evaluation:


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Good knowledge in mathmatics, in particular regarding complex numbers, integrals and series. Ability to formulate differential equations from given physical conditions.


To provide knowledge about and understanding of the physical theories of matter and waves which explain a number of properties, phenomena and processes in solids, liquids and gases.
The focus is mainly on applications of particular interest in civil engineering, or which are used in other courses at a later stage. The course should provide detailed understanding of and good ability to perform calculations regarding thermal properties of matter and alternating current circuits. The part of the course dealing with acoustics should serve as an introduction to later courses in applied acoustics.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After participation in the course, the students should have obtained a
basic understanding of oscillating systems, AC circuits, properties of
materials and sound propagation. They should also be able to perform
elementary calculations in these fields.


The course consists of three parts:

I. Elementary theory of oscillators and AC circuits.
Oscillations in general. The mass and spring system. Calculation of electrical power, currents and phase shifts in AC circuits by complex numbers. Specifically, resonance in serial and parallel circuits, power matching, filters and frequency properties of circuits.

II. Theory of materials.
Review of practical material properties and the role of physics in the acquisition of knowledge about materials. Fundamental structure of matter, interactions between atoms, molecules and ions and the formation of gases, liquids and solids. Fundamental theory of gases, thermodynamics and transport phenomena such as viscosity, diffusion and heat conduction. Detailed studies of thermal properties and phenomena in solids.

III. Wave theory and acoustics.
Wave propagation and the wave equation in one, two and three dimensions. Superposition of waves and applications of Fourier analysis. Acoustics: the wave equation in gases, spherical waves, wave impedance, wave reflection, acoustic components and signal treatment.


The lectures are mainly devoted to explaining the theory and to provide an overview of the field. The training sessions developes the ability to solve practical problems. The students are also expected to independently, both in groups and individually. Shorter tests and hand-in exercises are arranged, and are part of the examination. Practical lab projects are also included.


Lecture notes produced jointly by the deparments of physics and acoustics.


Tasks of examination character during the course. Written exam at the end of the course.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.