Vector Mechanics for Engineers: Statics and Dynamics 11th Edition
Book Preface
Objectives
A primary objective in a first course in mechanics is to help develop a student’s ability first to analyze problems in a simple and logical manner, and then to apply basic principles to their solutions. A strong conceptual understanding of these basic mechanics principles is essential for successfully solving mechanics problems. We hope this text will help instructors achieve these goals.
General Approach
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 threedimensional 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 problems involving only particles. Thus, students can familiarize themselves with the three basic methods used in dynamics and learn their respective advantages before facing the difficulties associated with the motion of rigid bodies.
New Concepts Are Introduced in Simple Terms. Since this text is designed for the first course in dynamics, new concepts are presented in simple terms and every step is explained in detail. On the other hand, by discussing the broader aspects of the problems considered, and by stressing methods of general applicability, a definite maturity of approach has been achieved. For example, the concept of potential energy is discussed in the general case of a conservative force. Also, the study of the plane motion of rigid bodies is designed to lead naturally to the study of their general motion in space. This is true in kinematics as well as in kinetics, where the principle of equivalence of external and effective forces is applied directly to the analysis of plane motion, thus facilitating the transition to the study of threedimensional motion.
Fundamental Principles Are Placed in the Context of Simple Applications. The fact that mechanics is essentially a deductive science based on a few fundamental principles is stressed. Derivations have been presented in their logical sequence and with all the rigor warranted at this level. However, the learning process being largely inductive, simple applications are considered first. For example:
• The statics of particles precedes the statics of rigid bodies, and problems involving internal forces are postponed until Chap. 6.
• In Chap. 4, equilibrium problems involving only coplanar forces are considered first and solved by ordinary algebra, while problems involving threedimensional forces and requiring the full use of vector algebra are discussed in the second part of the chapter.
• The kinematics of particles (Chap. 11) precedes the kinematics of rigid bodies (Chap. 15).
• The fundamental principles of the kinetics of rigid bodies are first applied to the solution of twodimensional problems (Chaps. 16 and 17), which can be more easily visualized by the student, while threedimensional problems are postponed until Chap. 18.
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October 2, 2018 
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