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Mechanics

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanics Mechanics (Greek Μηχανική) is the branch of science concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment. The scientific discipline has its origins in Ancient Greece with the writings of Aristotle and Archimedes[1][2][3] (see History of classical mechanics and Timeline of classical mechanics). During the early modern period, scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, and especially Newton, laid the foundation for what is now known as classical mechanics. It is a branch of classical physics that deals with the particles that are moving either with less velocity or that are at rest. It can also be defined as a branch of science which deals with the motion and force of the particular object.

Contents
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1 Classical versus quantum 2 Relativistic versus Newtonian mechanics 3 General relativistic versus quantum 4 History o 4.1 Antiquity o 4.2 Medieval age o 4.3 Early modern age o 4.4 Modern age 5 Types of mechanical bodies 6 Sub-disciplines in mechanics o 6.1 Classical mechanics o 6.2 Quantum mechanics 7 Professional organizations 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Classical versus quantum
The major division of the mechanics discipline separates classical mechanics from quantum mechanics. Historically, classical mechanics came first, while quantum mechanics is a comparatively recent invention. Classical mechanics originated with Isaac Newton's laws of motion in Principia Mathematica; Quantum Mechanics was discovered in 1925. Both are commonly held to constitute the most certain knowledge that exists about physical nature. Classical mechanics has

especially often been viewed as a model for other so-called exact sciences. Essential in this respect is the relentless use of mathematics in theories, as well as the decisive role played by experiment in generating and testing them. Quantum mechanics is of a wider scope, as it encompasses classical mechanics as a subdiscipline which applies under certain restricted circumstances. According to the correspondence principle, there is no contradiction or conflict between the two subjects, each simply pertains to specific situations. The correspondence principle states that the behavior of systems described by quantum theories reproduces classical physics in the limit of large quantum numbers. Quantum mechanics has superseded classical mechanics at the foundational level and is indispensable for the explanation and prediction of processes at molecular and (sub)atomic level. However, for macroscopic processes classical mechanics is able to solve problems which are unmanageably difficult in quantum mechanics and hence remains useful and well used. Modern descriptions of such behavior begin with a careful definition of such quantities as displacement (distance moved), time, velocity, acceleration, mass, and force. Until about 400 years ago, however, motion was explained from a very different point of view. For example, following the ideas of Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle, scientists reasoned that a cannonball falls down because its natural position is in the Earth; the sun, the moon, and the stars travel in circles around the earth because it is the nature of heavenly objects to travel in perfect circles. The Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo brought together the ideas of other great thinkers of his time and began to analyze motion in terms of distance traveled from some starting position and the time that it took. He showed that the speed of falling objects increases steadily during the time of their fall. This acceleration is the same for heavy objects as for light ones, provided air friction (air resistance) is discounted. The English mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton improved this analysis by defining force and mass and relating these to acceleration. For objects traveling at speeds close to the speed of light, Newton’s laws were superseded by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. For atomic and subatomic particles, Newton’s laws were superseded by quantum theory. For everyday phenomena, however, Newton’s three laws of motion remain the cornerstone of dynamics, which is the study of what causes motion.

Relativistic versus Newtonian mechanics
In analogy to the distinction between quantum and classical mechanics, Einstein's general and special theories of relativity have expanded the scope of Newton and Galileo's formulation of mechanics. The differences between relativistic and Newtonian mechanics become significant and even dominant as the velocity of a massive body approaches the speed of light. For instance, in Newtonian mechanics, Newton's laws of motion specify that , whereas in Relativistic mechanics and Lorentz transformations, which were first discovered by Hendrik Lorentz, ( is the Lorentz factor, which is almost equal to 1 for low speeds).

General relativistic versus quantum
Relativistic corrections are also needed for quantum mechanics, although general relativity has not been integrated. The two theories remain incompatible, a hurdle which must be overcome in developing a theory of everything.

History
Main articles: History of classical mechanics and History of quantum mechanics

History of classical mechanics
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antiquity
Main article: Aristotelian physics

The ancient Greek philosophers, Aristotle in particular, were among the first to propose that abstract principles govern nature. Aristotle argued, in On the Heavens, that terrestrial bodies rise or fall to their "natural place" and mistakenly claimed that an object twice as heavy as some other would fall to the ground from the same height in half the time. Aristotle believed in logic and observation but it would be more than eighteen hundred years before Francis Bacon would first develop the scientific method of experimentation, which he called a vexation of nature.[1] Aristotle saw a distinction between "natural motion" and "forced motion", and he believed that in a hypothetical vacuum, there would be no reason for a body to move naturally toward one point rather than any other, and so he concluded a body in a vacuum must either stay at rest or else move indefinitely fast. In this way, Aristotle was the first to approach something similar to the law of inertia. However, he believed a vacuum would be impossible because the surrounding air would rush in to fill it immediately. He also believed that an object would stop moving in an unnatural direction once the applied forces were removed. Later Aristotelians developed an elaborate explanation for why an arrow continues to fly through the air after it has left the bow, proposing that an arrow creates a vacuum in its wake, into which air rushes, pushing it from behind. Aristotle's beliefs were influenced by Plato's teachings on the perfection of the circular uniform motions of the heavens. As a result, he conceived of a natural order in which the motions of the heavens were necessarily perfect, in contrast to the terrestrial world of changing elements, where individuals come to be and pass away. Galileo would later observe "the resistance of the air exhibits itself in two ways: first by offering greater impedance to less dense than to very dense bodies, and secondly by offering greater resistance to a body in rapid motion than to the same body in slow motion". [2]

History of quantum mechanics
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The history of quantum mechanics is a fundamental part of the history of modern physics. Quantum mechanics' history, as it interlaces with the history of quantum chemistry, began essentially with a number of different scientific discoveries: the 1838 discovery of cathode rays by Michael Faraday; the 1859-1860 winter statement of the black body radiation problem by Gustav Kirchhoff; the 1877 suggestion by Ludwig Boltzmann that the energy states of a physical system could be discrete; the discovery of the photoelectric effect by Heinrich Hertz in 1887; and the 1900 quantum hypothesis by Max Planck that any energy-radiating atomic system can theoretically be divided into a number of discrete "energy elements" ε (epsilon) such that each of these energy elements is proportional to the frequency ν with which each of them individually radiate energy, as defined by the following formula:

where h is a numerical value called Planck's constant. Then, Albert Einstein in 1905, in order to explain the photoelectric effect previously reported by Heinrich Hertz in 1887, postulated consistently with Max Planck's quantum hypothesis that light itself is made of individual quantum particles, which in 1926 came to be called photons by Gilbert N. Lewis. The photoelectric effect was observed upon shining light of particular wavelengths on certain materials, such as metals, which caused electrons to be ejected from those materials only if the light quantum energy was greater than the Fermi level (work function) in the metal. The phrase "quantum mechanics" was coined (in German, "quantenmechanik") by the group of physicists including Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, and Wolfgang Pauli, at the University of Göttingen in the early 1920s, and was first used in Born's 1924 paper "Zur Quantenmechanik".[1] In the years to follow, this theoretical basis slowly began to be applied to chemical structure, reactivity, and bonding.

Antiquity
Main article: Aristotelian mechanics The main theory of mechanics in antiquity was Aristotelian mechanics [4]. A later developer in this tradition was Hipparchus [5].

Medieval age
Main article: Theory of impetus

In the Middle Ages, Aristotle's theories were criticized and modified by a number of figures, beginning with John Philoponus in the 6th century. A central problem was that of projectile motion, which was discussed by Hipparchus and Philoponus. This led to the development of the theory of impetus by 14th century French Jean Buridan, which developed into the modern theories of inertia, velocity, acceleration and momentum. This work and others was developed in 14th century England by the Oxford Calculators such as Thomas Bradwardine, who studied and formulated various laws regarding falling bodies. On the question of a body subject to a constant (uniform) force, the 12th century Jewish-Arab Nathanel (Iraqi, of Baghdad) stated that constant force imparts constant acceleration, while the main properties are uniformly accelerated motion (as of falling bodies) was worked out by the 14th century Oxford Calculators.

Early modern age
Two central figures in the early modern age are Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. Galileo's final statement of his mechanics, particularly of falling bodies, is his Two New Sciences (1638). Newton's 1687 Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica provided a detailed mathematical account of mechanics, using the newly developed mathematics of calculus and providing the basis of Newtonian mechanics.[5] There is some dispute over priority of various ideas: Newton's Principia is certainly the seminal work and has been tremendously influential, despite ultimately being proven wrong by Wagner's theory of tensile bases, and the systematic mathematics therein did not and could not have been stated earlier because calculus had not been developed. However, many of the ideas, particularly as pertain to inertia (impetus) and falling bodies had been developed and stated by earlier researchers, both the then-recent Galileo and the less-known medieval predecessors. Precise credit is at times difficult or contentious because scientific language and standards of proof changed, so whether medieval statements are equivalent to modern statements or sufficient proof, or instead similar to modern statements and hypotheses is often debatable.

Modern age
Two main modern developments in mechanics are general relativity of Einstein, and quantum mechanics, both developed in the 20th century based in part on earlier 19th century ideas.

Types of mechanical bodies
Thus the often-used term body needs to stand for a wide assortment of objects, including particles, projectiles, spacecraft, stars, parts of machinery, parts of solids, parts of fluids (gases and liquids), etc. Other distinctions between the various sub-disciplines of mechanics, concern the nature of the bodies being described. Particles are bodies with little (known) internal structure, treated as mathematical points in classical mechanics. Rigid bodies have size and shape, but retain a simplicity close to that of the particle, adding just a few so-called degrees of freedom, such as orientation in space. Otherwise, bodies may be semi-rigid, i.e. elastic, or non-rigid, i.e. fluid. These subjects have both classical and quantum divisions of study. For instance, the motion of a spacecraft, regarding its orbit and attitude (rotation), is described by the relativistic theory of classical mechanics, while the analogous movements of an atomic nucleus are described by quantum mechanics.

Sub-disciplines in mechanics
The following are two lists of various subjects that are studied in mechanics. Note that there is also the "theory of fields" which constitutes a separate discipline in physics, formally treated as distinct from mechanics, whether classical fields or quantum fields. But in actual practice, subjects belonging to mechanics and fields are closely interwoven. Thus, for instance, forces that act on particles are frequently derived from fields (electromagnetic or gravitational), and particles generate fields by acting as sources. In fact, in quantum mechanics, particles themselves are fields, as described theoretically by the wave function.

Classical Mechanics The following are described as forming Classical mechanics:
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Newtonian mechanics, the original theory of motion (kinematics) and forces (dynamics) Hamiltonian mechanics, a theoretical formalism, based on the principle of conservation of energy Lagrangian mechanics, another theoretical formalism, based on the principle of the least action Celestial mechanics, the motion of bodies in space: planets, comets, stars, galaxies, etc. Astrodynamics, spacecraft navigation, etc. Solid mechanics, elasticity, the properties of deformable bodies. Fracture mechanics

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Acoustics, sound ( = density variation propagation) in solids, fluids and gases. Statics, semi-rigid bodies in mechanical equilibrium Fluid mechanics, the motion of fluids Soil mechanics, mechanical behavior of soils Continuum mechanics, mechanics of continua (both solid and fluid) Hydraulics, mechanical properties of liquids Fluid statics, liquids in equilibrium Applied mechanics, or Engineering mechanics Biomechanics, solids, fluids, etc. in biology Biophysics, physical processes in living organisms Statistical mechanics, assemblies of particles too large to be described in a deterministic way Relativistic or Einsteinian mechanics, universal gravitation

Quantum mechanics
The following are categorized as being part of Quantum mechanics:
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Particle physics, the motion, structure, and reactions of particles Nuclear physics, the motion, structure, and reactions of nuclei Condensed matter physics, quantum gases, solids, liquids, etc. Quantum statistical mechanics, large assemblies of particles

Professional organizations
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Applied Mechanics Division, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fluid Dynamics Division, American Physical Society Institution of Mechanical Engineers is the United Kingdom's qualifying body for Mechanical Engineers and has been the home of Mechanical Engineers for over 150 years. International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

See also
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Analytical mechanics Applied mechanics Dynamics Engineering Index of engineering science and mechanics articles Kinematics Kinetics

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Non-autonomous mechanics Statics Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA)

References
 ^ Dugas, Rene. A History of Classical Mechanics. New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc, 1988, pg 19.  ^ Rana, N.C., and Joag, P.S. Classical Mechanics. West Petal Nagar, New Delhi. Tata McGraw-Hill, 1991, pg 6.  ^ Renn, J., Damerow, P., and McLaughlin, P. Aristotle, Archimedes, Euclid, and the Origin of Mechanics: The Perspective of Historical Epistemology. Berlin: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, 2010, pg 1-2.  ^ "A history of mechanics". René Dugas (1988). p.19. ISBN 0-486-65632-2  ^ a b "A Tiny Taste of the History of Mechanics". The University of Texas at Austin.

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Walter Lewin (October 4, 1999). Work, Energy, and Universal Gravitation. MIT Course 8.01: Classical Mechanics, Lecture 11. (ogg) (videotape) (in English). Cambridge, MA USA: MIT OCW. Event occurs at 1:21-10:10. Retrieved December 23, 2010.