Undergraduate Statics Textbook

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Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby whereswalden90 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:30 am UTC

I am an undergraduate physics student, but I want to go into mechanical engineering in grad school. Since my school doesn't offer a course in statics, I'm doing an independent study. Anybody have recommendations on textbooks?
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby feedme » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:53 am UTC

My statics (and deformables) both used Hibbler; they seemed pretty well stated and decent enough

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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Zamfir » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:07 am UTC

My university switched from Merriam and Kraige to Hibbeler, and people seemed happy with that switch. But never used Hibbeler myself.

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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Velifer » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:35 pm UTC

I have Robert Johnson's Elementary Statistics, 7th ed. It starts off pretty good, (nice and slow with easily relatable examples) then quickly gets terrible. Later chapters aren't too bad.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby iroZn » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

My Uni uses Meriam and Kraige. It's got good problems in it but I wouldn't recommend it for self study, the examples can be very confusing at the best of times. If you're just looking for heaps of practice problems I borrowed my friends Schaum's outline for Engineering Mechanics when studying for the test. It obviously only outlines the subject matter but has heaps of solved examples and practice questions all with answers.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby SWGlassPit » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:56 pm UTC

I used Hibbeler in my undergrad. It's pretty decent.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby whereswalden90 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:48 pm UTC

I took a look at Hibbeler on Google Books and it looks like it doesn't really cover anything that my Physics 101 class didn't. I'm looking for something a little more advanced, as this is going to be a 300-level class taught alongside Dynamics (which has things like Hamilton's principle, Lagrangian dynamics, systems with many degrees of freedom, etc.) Any ideas?
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Velifer » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:17 pm UTC

whereswalden90 wrote:I'm looking for something a little more advanced

Pagano and Gaovreau Principles of Biostatistics.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Zamfir » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:50 pm UTC

@Velifer: Statics, not statistics.

@whereswalden90: I don't think there is such a thing as "advanced statics". The term is used for unmoving, rigid-body problems only, and those are in the end pretty trivial. It's just something engineers have to ingrain completely, the way you do with high school algebra. So you might try some of the harder problems from Hibbeler to see how fast you solve them. No thinking, immediate solving is the goal. If you know what I mean.

The difficult part of unmoving mechanics is about deformations of structures. Most structures are statically indeterminate, which means you need to calculate the internal stresses and deformations to solve problems. And of course, internal stresses are often what you are interested in as engineer.

This is usually called "mechanics of materials" or "engineering mechanics". I used Timoshenko and Gere as introduction, which is I think the standard text. Wasn't too lyrical about it, to be honest. But apparently Timoshenko single-handedly invented the field, so we have to pay his grand children their dues.

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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Velifer » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:47 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:@Velifer: Statics, not statistics.

DOH!
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby KestrelLowing » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:09 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:@Velifer: Statics, not statistics.

@whereswalden90: I don't think there is such a thing as "advanced statics". The term is used for unmoving, rigid-body problems only, and those are in the end pretty trivial. It's just something engineers have to ingrain completely, the way you do with high school algebra. So you might try some of the harder problems from Hibbeler to see how fast you solve them. No thinking, immediate solving is the goal. If you know what I mean.

The difficult part of unmoving mechanics is about deformations of structures. Most structures are statically indeterminate, which means you need to calculate the internal stresses and deformations to solve problems. And of course, internal stresses are often what you are interested in as engineer.

This is usually called "mechanics of materials" or "engineering mechanics". I used Timoshenko and Gere as introduction, which is I think the standard text. Wasn't too lyrical about it, to be honest. But apparently Timoshenko single-handedly invented the field, so we have to pay his grand children their dues.


Yup, Ditto. Statics in general is pretty much what you do in the kinematics and mechanics part of physics, just beefed up a little. My guess is that in physics they didn't teach you everything that's taught in statics, for example: how to analyze ideal truss structures, or rigid bodies and some other topics I can't quite remember (I took it two years ago and don't quite remember all the topics).

Mechanics of materials is the next step, usually taken around the same time as dynamics as, at least in my ME curriculum, dynamics isn't needed for Mechanics.

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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby jmorgan3 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:02 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:@whereswalden90: I don't think there is such a thing as "advanced statics". The term is used for unmoving, rigid-body problems only, and those are in the end pretty trivial. It's just something engineers have to ingrain completely, the way you do with high school algebra. So you might try some of the harder problems from Hibbeler to see how fast you solve them. No thinking, immediate solving is the goal. If you know what I mean.


There are some "advanced" statics topics it won't hurt to bone up on. The principle of virtual work, construction of shear-force and bending-moment diagrams, and computation of centroids and area moments of inertia are all technically part of statics and will be useful for your Deformable Bodies class.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby whereswalden90 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:45 am UTC

My school doesn't have a class on deformable bodies either...

Any suggestions on specific books? I'm currently eyeing Hibbeler's combined Statics and Mechanics of Materials.

Has anyone heard anything about Morrow and Kokernak?
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby jmorgan3 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:01 am UTC

I really liked my school's text, by Gere and Goodno. I'm taking a more advanced structures course right now, and I use the linked book as a reference a lot.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Solt » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:01 am UTC

whereswalden90 wrote:I took a look at Hibbeler on Google Books and it looks like it doesn't really cover anything that my Physics 101 class didn't.


Mechanical Engineering doesn't "really" cover anything physics didn't, to be honest. Dynamics is the principle of least action for rigid bodies, fluids is the navier-stokes equation, heat transfer is newton's law, etc. Undergrad Mechanical Engineering as a whole can be summarized as "those phenomena and situations for which energy is conserved." But the devil is in the details. The difference is that a physicist will take 2 hours to solve a given problem because he's seeing it for the first time while a mechanical engineer will solve it in 10 minutes because he's seen it before and has already explored the solutions to a variety of situations, so he has an intuition to guide him in the design process.

whereswalden90 wrote:I'm looking for something a little more advanced, as this is going to be a 300-level class taught alongside Dynamics (which has things like Hamilton's principle, Lagrangian dynamics, systems with many degrees of freedom, etc.) Any ideas?


The part of statics you need for Dynamics is pretty straightforward, just the ability to use vector algebra in three dimensions and construct free body diagrams. You have to be pretty good at this, because the systems analyzed in dynamics can be quite complex with multiple rotating/translating frames to sort out. If your mastery of vector algebra is sub-par you'll spend a lot of extra time scratching your head. Otherwise they are separate subjects, with more advanced statics being a gateway to mechanics of materials as stated above and advanced dynamics being a gateway to, well, more advanced dynamics.

To be honest I'd just start studying dynamics because you're going to need an undergrad level understanding from day one in grad school. Don't forget to read up on how the resulting equations are solved because you may end up doing that, though with help.


Do you even know what you are studying in grad school? You might want to read up on some other subjects too depending on what your specialty will be. But vector mechanics is pretty important for all but thermo, which, incidentally was the name of the text we used. It was sufficient I suppose. IIRC it had the exercise answers listed which is quite useful for self study and in fact for study in general. Vector Mechanics for Engineers: Statics and another one with ": Dynamics". Beer. I can't believe I remember the guy's name after all this time.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby whereswalden90 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:36 pm UTC

So looking at the Pearsons site, Hibbeler has a completely separate book on structural analysis. What the heck is that, and how is it different from statics and mechanics of materials?
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby gorcee » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

whereswalden90 wrote:So looking at the Pearsons site, Hibbeler has a completely separate book on structural analysis. What the heck is that, and how is it different from statics and mechanics of materials?


Typically, statics involves static determination of loads, i.e., no consideration of internal stresses, dynamic loads or dynamic response.

Mechanics of materials typically involves internal forces: thermal forces, bending modes, stress-strain curves, properties of materials, shapes, etc. But it is more focused on the materials, rather than the structures (per se).

Structural analysis is sort of the combination of those two fields. You'll deal with external and internal forces, and also consider dynamic response, etc. For instance, mechanics of materials involves studying the properties of a material under a load (which might be determined by static analysis). Structural analysis involves taking these properties, and seeing what happens as those loads change. You might do things like compute the damping ratio of a structure, study modal analysis, compute natural frequencies, etc.

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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Zamfir » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:14 pm UTC

Applied mechanics of materials, for selected useful, simplified structures like beams and trusses.

The general case of solving the stresses and deformations in a structure is way too complicated for closed solutions, even for linear cases you have to rely on computer simulation. But you can often make a rough model of a structure by assuming it is made out of certain idealized elements, like quasi-1D beams. You can find closed solutions for such ideal elements, and using those as model is the approach to lots of designs.

So you need to learn the intricacies of those elements, and how you can combine them to model more complicated structures. That book is a first start to that.

I hate to sound harsh, but are you not underestimating how much stuff undergraduate engineers learn in those years? I have encountered quite some physicists who look at the most physics-like parts of engineering, things like using Lagrangian dynamics. They then conclude that they are good at those, and therefore that they are up to scratch.

But undergraduate engineering is mostly a very broad range of facts and models to be used in situation a,b, c, up to z.

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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby jmorgan3 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:23 pm UTC

Our structural analysis class (in Aerospace Engineering) covers advanced topics like non-symmetric bending and thin-walled members, because those are common in aerospace structures. It doesn't do anything non-static (that's a separate class) or do anything terribly advanced with trusses or frames.
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Re: Undergraduate Statics Textbook

Postby Dobblesworth » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:41 am UTC

The structural mechanics I did earlier in my engineering course recommended Meriam-Kraige, and dynamics-mechanics recommended its parallel, so I went with a combo I found in Heffers/Blackwell [university text providing bookstore] with both together for some sort of decent discount. Can't say I've had to jump to my textbooks often, my course has done it pretty solidly where handouts from the lecturers contain all the material covered [mostly with gaps for diagrams/derivations/random terms to encourage you to come along to get the full data] that can technically get you through the exam. But textbooks are always recommended for deeper learning or understanding parts of the course the lecturer/question papers/supervisors didn't cover fully.

I, erm, actually don't think I've used the Meriam Kraige Statics one, if I have it's far less than I did its Dynamics sibling. Certainly had no use for any of the reams of examples questions since my course has them covered.


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