Applied mechanics

Applied mechanics (also engineering mechanics) is a branch of the physical sciences and the practical application of mechanics. Pure mechanics describes the response of bodies (solids and fluids) or systems of bodies to external forces. Some examples of mechanical systems include the flow of a liquid under pressure, the fracture of a solid from an applied force, or the vibration of an ear in response to sound. A practitioner of the discipline is known as a mechanician.

Applied mechanics describes the behavior of a body, in either a beginning state of rest or of motion, subjected to the action of forces.[1] Applied mechanics, bridges the gap between physical theory and its application to technology. It is used in many fields of engineering, especially mechanical engineering and civil engineering. In this context, it is commonly referred to as Engineering Mechanics. Much of modern engineering mechanics is based on Isaac Newton's laws of motion while the modern practice of their application can be traced back to Stephen Timoshenko, who is said to be the father of modern engineering mechanics.

Within the practical sciences, applied mechanics is useful in formulating new ideas and theories, discovering and interpreting phenomena, and developing experimental and computational tools. In the application of the natural sciences, mechanics was said to be complemented by thermodynamics, the study of heat and more generally energy, and electromechanics, the study of electricity and magnetism.[2]

In practice

The advances and research in Applied Mechanics has wide application in many fields of study. Some of the specialties that put the subject into practice are Mechanical Engineering, Construction Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Civil Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Structural engineering and Bioengineering. Prof. S. Marichamy said that "Mechanics is the study of bodies which are in motion or rest condition under the action of Forces".

Major topics


See also


  1. Engineering Mechanics (statics and dynamics) - Dr.N.Kottiswaran ISBN 978-81-908993-3-8
  2. Thermodynamics - and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances. Lewis, G. and M. Randall (1923)

Further reading

  • J.P. Den Hartog, Strength of Materials, Dover, New York, 1949.
  • F.P. Beer, E.R. Johnston, J.T. DeWolf, Mechanics of Materials, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1981.
  • S.P. Timoshenko, History of Strength of Materials, Dover, New York, 1953.
  • J.E. Gordon, The New Science of Strong Materials, Princeton, 1984.
  • H. Petroski, To Engineer Is Human, St. Martins, 1985.
  • T.A. McMahon and J.T. Bonner, On Size and Life, Scientific American Library, W.H. Freeman, 1983.
  • M. F. Ashby, Materials Selection in Design, Pergamon, 1992.
  • A.H. Cottrell, Mechanical Properties of Matter, Wiley, New York, 1964.
  • S.A. Wainwright, W.D. Biggs, J.D. Organisms, Edward Arnold, 1976.
  • S. Vogel, Comparative Biomechanics, Princeton, 2003.
  • J. Howard, Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton, Sinauer Associates, 2001.
  • J.L. Meriam, L.G. Kraige. Engineering Mechanics Volume 2: Dynamics, John Wiley & Sons., New York, 1986.
  • J.L. Meriam, L.G. Kraige. Engineering Mechanics Volume 1: Statics, John Wiley & Sons., New York, 1986.
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