Engineering Mechanics by Timoshenko

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From the book: Engineering Mechanics by Timoshenko

The importance of mechanics in the preparation of young engineers for work in specialized fields cannot be overemphasized. The demand from industry is more and more for young men who are soundly grounded in their fundamental subjects rather than for those with specialized training. There is a good reason for this trend: The industrial engineer is continually being confronted by new problems, which do not always yield to routine methods of solution.

The man who can successfully cope with such problems must have a sound understanding of the fundamental principles that apply and be familiar with various general methods of attack rather than proficient in the use of anyone. It seems evident, then, that university training in such a fundamental subject as mechanics must seek to build a strong foundation, to acquaint the student with as many general methods to attack as possible, to illustrate the application of these methods to practical engineering problems, but to avoid routine drill in the manipulation of standardized methods of solution. Such are the aims of this book.

The content of the book is somewhat wider than can be covered in two courses of three semester hours or five quarters hours each. At the end of the discussion of statics, for example, there is a chapter on the principle of virtual work. The use of this principle results in great simplification in the solution of certain problem statics, and it seems desirable to acquaint the student with its possibilities. At the end of the discussion of dynamics, there is a short chapter on relative motion, together with applications to engineering problems.

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