The main objective of a first course in mechanics should be to develop in the engineering student the ability to analyze any problem in a simple and logical manner and to apply to its solution a few, well-understood, basic principles. It is hoped that this text, as well as the preceding volume, Vector Mechanics for Engineers: Statics, will help the instructor achieve this goal.
Vector algebra was introduced at the beginning of the first volume and is used in the presentation of the basic principles of statics, as well as in the solution of many problems, particularly three-dimensional problems. Similarly, the concept of vector differentiation will be introduced early in this volume, and vector analysis will be used throughout the presentation of dynamics. This approach leads to more concise derivations of the fundamental principles of mechanics. It also makes it possible to analyze many problems in kinematics and kinetics which could not be solved by scalar methods. The emphasis in this text, however, remains on the correct understanding of the principles of mechanics and on their application to the solution of engineering problems, and vector analysis is presented chiefly as a convenient tool.
Practical Applications Are Introduced Early. One of the characteristics of the approach used in this book is that mechanics of particles is clearly separated from the mechanics of rigid bodies. This approach makes it possible to consider simple practical applications at an early stage and to postpone the introduction of the more difficult concepts. For example:
- In Statics, the statics of particles is treated first, and the principle of equilibrium of a particle was immediately applied to practical situations involving only concurrent forces. The statics of rigid bodies is considered later, at which time the vector and scalar products of two vectors were introduced and used to define the moment of a force about a point and about an axis.
- In Dynamics, the same division is observed. The basic concepts of force, mass, and acceleration, of work and energy, and of impulse and momentum are introduced and first applied to.
List of Symbols
11. Kinematics of Particles
12. Kinetics of Particles: Newton’s Second Law
13. Kinetics of Particles: Energy and Momentum Methods
14. Systems of Particles
15. Kinematics of Rigid Bodies
16. Plane Motion of Rigid Bodies: Forces and Accelerations
17. Plane Motion of Rigid Bodies: Energy and Momentum Methods
18. Kinetics of Rigid Bodies in Three Dimensions
19. Mechanical Vibrations
Appendix A: Some Useful Definitions and Properties of Vector Algebra
Appendix B: Moments of Inertia of Masses
Appendix C: Fundamentals of Engineering Examination
Answers to Problems
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