5 Branches of Mechanics; You Need To Know

Are you fascinated by physics and would you like to know what mechanics studies and Branches of Mechanics
Are you thinking of enrolling in an engineering degree course and would like to familiarize yourself with the subject to understand if it can align with your professional propensities and ambitions?

Since it is a fascinating and complex discipline at the same time we suggest you take a look at this post.

In the following paragraphs you will find a general overview of the subject; we will explain how the mechanics work , what are the foundations on which it is based and how many branches it divides.

What is mechanics

Before analyzing what mechanics studies we try to familiarize ourselves with the matter through the definition provided by the Treccani website:

“Science that studies the motion and balance of bodies. It is traditionally divided into three parts: kinematics, dynamics and static, which study motion, regardless of its causes, motion in relation to the causes that determine it and the balance of bodies, respectively. ”

In other words, in physics mechanics is the science that studies the motion of bodies and the causes that determine it .
It is conventionally divided into three parts: kinematic, dynamic and static. Let’s analyze them in detail.

The kinematic study motion regardless of the causes that generated it.

The dynamic studying motion and the causes that generated it.
It is based on three laws:

  • 1st law of dynamics or principle of inertia
    If external forces do not act on a body or a system of forces acts in equilibrium, the body perseveres in its state of quiet or uniform rectilinear motion.
  • 2nd law of dynamics or fundamental principle of dynamics
    If a force or a system of forces acts on a body, it accelerates; the resulting force applied to the body is directly proportional to the acceleration and shares its direction and direction.
    Acceleration is directly proportional to force and inversely proportional to mass.
  • 3rd law of dynamics or principle of action-reaction
    If two bodies interact with each other two forces develop, commonly called action and reaction: as vector quantities they are equal in modulus and direction, but opposite in direction.

The static studies the balance of the body, or in cases where the forces are balanced. The balance can be static, therefore the body remains still, or dynamic, when the body moves following a uniform motion.

The fundamental quantities of science are space , time , mass and strength .

Space is fundamental to define the position of a point, positioned within a reference system.
Time is needed to define a sequence of events.
Mass is essential for measuring the resistance of bodies to varying motion.
Strength is the concept behind dynamics; it indicates the direct or remote action of one body on another and is divided into three types: weight force (attracts the bodies towards the center of the earth), elastic force (generated by the deformation of bodies which then return to their original shape) and centripetal force (causes bodies to move following a circular path).

The development of modern mechanics starts from Philosophiare naturalis principia mathematica, Newton’s work which defines the three laws of dynamics.

According to Newtonian principles, any mechanical problem can be set on mathematics, but to be solved it requires the use of specific mathematical tools.
Experimental mechanics thus becomes rational.

The branches of Mechanics

Mechanics is divided into various branches, each of which is based on the common foundation of rational mechanics , or the science that develops with a mathematical process deductive from general principles.

On the Treccani website, the term ‘rational mechanics’ is considered as a synonym of classical macroscopic mechanics or the “part of mechanics which, based on Newtonian postulates (dynamics) studies mechanical problems relating to bodies of ordinary dimensions, in the various schemes adopted at represent them, regardless of any other phenomena concomitant to the actual mechanical fact (such as, for example, chemical, electrical, thermal phenomena, etc.) ”

Here are the branches of mechanics

  • Analytical mechanics : it is based on the deduction, starting from valid principles, of the laws that regulate the motion of the solicited bodies.
  • Applied mechanics : depending on the object of study, it can be divided into mechanics applied to construction, mechanics applied to fluids (fluid dynamics) and mechanics applied to machines.
  • Celestial mechanics : astronomical discipline that studies the movement of celestial bodies, in relation to the acting forces and the laws that govern them, in order to calculate their trajectories.
  • Nonlinear mechanics : it studies the theoretical oscillatory phenomena through nonlinear differential equations.
  • Quantum mechanics or quantum theory: describes in statistical terms the behavior of matter, radiation and their respective interactions.
    In particular, physical theory applies to systems of atomic and subatomic dimensions for which the laws of classical mechanics are inadequate.
  • Mechanics of continuous systems : branch of mechanics that studies the behavior of continuous bodies, i.e. the systems in which matter is presumed to be distributed evenly and therefore fills the space that occupies the body.
  • Statistical mechanics : describes the behavior of complex physical systems (composed of many particles) through the application of probability theories and statistical techniques. The discipline predicts the macroscopic properties of matter (speed, pressure and temperature).

How to become a mechanical engineer: studies and opportunities

If after familiarizing yourself with mechanical science you have realized that you are passionate about the subject, and that perhaps you would like to deepen it in order to apply it in the future work context, then we suggest you evaluate the possibility of enrolling in a three-year engineering course .

In particular, we would like to point out the mechanical curriculum of the degree course in Industrial Engineering, a training course aimed at training profiles able to operate in the field of mechanical design.

At the end of the three-year period, the engineers will have acquired the skills necessary to deal with the various phases of the production process, that is, the design, production and management .

For those who want to specialize further and deepen the knowledge acquired during the three-year period, the master’s degree program in Mechanical Engineering is available , in which 3 different curricula are available: production and management, automotive, design.

Considering the strong demand for highly specialized profiles, to broaden the employment opportunities in the engineering sector it is advisable to further specialize the skills acquired through the training of degree courses with a master’s degree.

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