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Mechanics
Mechanics is the science which describes and predicts the conditions of rest or
motion of bodies under the action of forces. Mechanics is the foundation of most
engineering sciences and is an indispensable prerequisite to their study.
Engineers Mechanics
Branches of Mechanics:
 Statics body is at rest under the action of forces. All quantities are
time independent
 Dynamics body is at motion under the action of forces. All quantities
are time dependent
What is the need for an elaborate course?
Basic rules are simple, force balance and moment
balance, in general.
But, there are many intricacies. Multibody
interactions can be very complex.
A good understanding of fundamentals goes a long
way in solving such complex problems.
Concepts of appropriate Free Body Diagrams and
equations of equilibrium (motion in dynamics) will
be indispensable in later studies
Engineering Mechanics
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Books
Beer, F. P. and E. R. Johnston, Vector Mechanics for Engineers Statics
and Dynamics, TataMcGrawHill, New Delhi, 8
th
edition (2007).
Shames, I. H., Engineering MechanicsStatics and Dynamics, Prentice Hall
India Ltd., New Delhi, 4
th
edition (1996).
Merriam, J. L. and L. G. Kraige, Engineering Mechanics Vol1 & 2, Wiley
India Ltd., New Delhi, 5
th
edition (2007).
Engineering Mechanics
Useful Links
http://www.howstuffworks.com/
http://oli.web.cmu.edu
Fundamentals
Dimensions
Vectors and Scalars
Parallelogram Law
Newtons law
Principle of Transmissibility
System of Units
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Dimensions
Space  associated with the notion of the position of a point P given in
terms of three coordinates measured from a reference point or origin.
Time  definition of an event requires specification of the time and
position at which it occurred.
Mass  used to characterize and compare bodies, e.g., response to
earths gravitational attraction and resistance to changes in translational
motion.
Force  represents the action of one body on another.
In Newtonian Mechanics, space, time, and mass are absolute concepts,
independent of each other. Force, however, is not independent of the
other three. The force acting on a body is related to the mass of the body
and the variation of its velocity with time (i.eaccelaration).
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
Vector: parameters possessing magnitude
and direction which add according to the
parallelogram law.
Examples: displacements, velocities,
accelerations, Force.
Scalar: parameters possessing magnitude but
not direction.
Examples: mass, volume, temperature
Engineers Mechanics Basics
Vectors and Scalars
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Newtons Law
Newtons First Law:
Every particle continues in a state
of rest or uniform motion in a
straight line unless it is compelled
to change that state by forces
imposed on it
Newtons Second Law:
The change of motion is
proportional to the natural
force impressed and is
made in a direction of the
straight line in which the
force is impressed
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
a m F
=
Newtons Third Law:
The forces of action and
reaction between two
particles have the same
magnitude and line of
action with opposite sense.
Newtons Law of Gravitation: Two particles (mass M and m respectively)
are attracted with equal and opposite forces,
2 2
,
R
GM
g mg W
r
Mm
G F = = =
G =Universal gravitational constant
=6.673(10
11
) m
3
/(kg.s
2
)
M=mass of earth=5.976(10
24
) kg
R=radius of earth=6371(10
3
) m
Newtons Law
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Principle of Transmissibility:
Principle of Transmissibility 
Conditions of equilibrium or motion are
not affected by transmitting a force
along its line of action.
NOTE: F and F are equivalent forces.
Moving the point of application of
the force F to the rear bumper
does not affect the motion or the
other forces acting on the truck.
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
Principle of transmissibility may
not always apply in determining
internal forces and deformations.
P
1
=P
2
Systems of Units
Kinetic Units: length [L], time [t],
mass [m], and force.
Three of the kinetic units, referred to
as basic units, may be defined
arbitrarily. The fourth unit, referred
to as a derived unit, must have a
definition compatible with Newtons
2nd Law,
a m F
=
International System of Units (SI):
The basic units are length, time, and
mass which are arbitrarily defined as the
meter (m), second (s), and kilogram
(kg). Force is the derived unit,
( ) 
.

\

=
=
2
s
m
1 kg 1 N 1
ma F
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
US Customary Units (FPS):
The basic units are length, time, and
mass which are arbitrarily defined as the
foot (ft), second (s) and slug (). Force
is the derived unit,
( )


.

\

=
=
2
s
ft
1 slug 1 lb 1
ma F
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The NASA Mars Climate Orbiter, the first interplanetary weather satellite
designed to orbit Mars, was lost during entry to Mars orbit because one of the
teams used FPS system and failed to convert them to SI system. As a result, the
$125 million orbiter was lost. As Dr. Stone, director of the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, California succinctly said "Our inability to recognize and correct this
simple error has had major implications."
Unit Conversion
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
1 ft = 0.3048 m
1 slug = 14.59 kg
1 lb = 4.4482 N
1 kip (kilopound) = 1000 lb
Giga (G) =10
9
Mega (M) =10
6
Kilo (k) =10
3
Milli (m) =10
3
Micro () =10
6
Nano (n) =10
9
FPS
SI
g =9.81 m/s
2
(SI)
=32 ft/s
2
(FPS)
Idealization of Mechanics
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
Rigid body assumption
 no deformation, assumes original geometry
 pure translation and rotation
A particle idealizes a body by placing its mass at its center and
neglecting its physical size.
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Method of Problem Solution
Problem Statement:
Includes given data, specification of
what is to be determined, and a figure
showing all quantities involved.
FreeBody Diagrams:
Create separate diagrams for each of
the bodies involved with a clear
indication of all forces acting on
each body.
Fundamental Principles:
The fundamental principles are
applied to express the conditions of
rest or motion of each body. The
rules of algebra are applied to solve
the equations for the unknown
quantities.
Solution Check:
 Test for errors in reasoning by
verifying that the units of the
computed results are correct,
 always apply experience and physical
intuition to assess whether results seem
reasonable
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
Modeling of Real Life Problems
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
Any physical/mechanical model is
simply a caricature of a realworld
problem.
Such a model is our way of
understanding of realworld in as
simple and tractable way as
possible.
The real skill is to remove
unwanted flab, and get a barebones
model, which gives a quick and
reasonably accurate solution.
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DrawBridge
Engineers Mechanics Examples
Ladder Climbing
Engineers Mechanics Examples
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Robotics
Use of statics in Robotics to build evil Terminator.
(http://www.societyofrobots.com/mechanics_statics.shtml)
Engineers Mechanics Examples
The main spar of an aircraft is designed to conservatively carry all of the
wing aerodynamic lift forces. For the simplified wing upbending loads
shown, find the equivalent load system and support reactions
Engineers Mechanics Examples
Equivalent Load System in an Aircraft Wing
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Engineers Mechanics Examples
Bridge
Loading, supports and connections of a
bridge
Car suspension system is a good example
of massspringdamper system
Engineers Mechanics Examples
Mechanical Vibrations
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Numerical Accuracy
The accuracy of a solution depends on 1) accuracy of the given
data, and 2) accuracy of the computations performed. The solution
cannot be more accurate than the less accurate of these two.
As a general rule for engineering problems, the data are seldom
known with an accuracy greater than 0.2%. Therefore, it is usually
appropriate to record parameters beginning with 1 with four digits
and with three digits in all other cases, i.e., 40.2 N and 15.58 N.
The use of hand calculators and computers generally makes the
accuracy of the computations much greater than the accuracy of the
data. Hence, the solution accuracy is usually limited by the data
accuracy.
Engineers Mechanics Introduction
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