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SG2215 Compressible Flow 7.5 credits

The course will be based on selected parts of the book by John D. Andersson, Modern Compressible Flow, Mc Graw Hill , 1990, from which may be cited:

"This book deals exclusively with that "marked departure", i.e., it deals with compressible flows, in which the density is not constant. In modern engineering applications, such flows are the rule rather than the exception. A few important examples are the internal flows through rocket and gas turbine engines, high-speed subsonic, transonic, supersonic, and hypersonic wind tunnels, the external flow over modern airplanes designed to cruise faster than 0.3 of the speed of sound, and the flow inside the common internal combustion reciprocating engine. The purpose of this book is to develop the fundamental concepts of compressible flow, and to illustrate their use."

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 17 Mar 2025 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus SG2215 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

For an inviscid, compressible gas the students should be able to

  • calculate pressure, velocity and temperature for quasi one-dimensional, stationary, isentropic flow
  • calculate changes of pressure, velocity and temperature over normal and oblique shock waves
  • calculate changes of pressure, velocity and temperature in simple expansion waves
  • calculate pressure, velocity and temperature for unsteady, one-dimensional, non-linear waves
  • calculate the flow field in linear theory for subsonic and supersonic flow around bodies
  • understand how pressure and drag on a body changes in transsonic flow

Intended learning outcomes

Finishing this course the student should know how to:

  • derive the conservation laws of mass, momentum and energy of inviscid, compressible flow and apply them to various fluid dynamical problems to e.g.
    - analyse the interaction of forces between solid boundaries and flowing gases from the basic principles of compressible flow
    - analyse the energy conversion process in a flowing gas from the thermodynamic principles of isentropic and irreversible flow respectively
    - interpret results from performed experiments
  • demonstrate a physical understanding of the mathematical formulas derived
  • give a physical description of the special effects appearing in hypersonic flows.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

English B / English 6

Basic courses at M, P, T or F and one of SG1217, SG1220, SG2223, SG2214 or equivalent courses.

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • INL2 - Assignment, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • INLA - Assignment, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 0.7 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB2 - Laboratory Work, 0.8 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Homework assignments (INL1; 1,5 university credits), (INL2; 1,5 university credits).
Laboratory work (LAB1; 0,7 university credits), (LAB2; 0,8 university credits).
Final oral exam, (TEN1; 3 university credits).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Michael Liverts (