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Concept# Solid mechanics

Summary

Solid mechanics (also known as mechanics of solids) is the branch of continuum mechanics that studies the behavior of solid materials, especially their motion and deformation under the action of forces, temperature changes, phase changes, and other external or internal agents.
Solid mechanics is fundamental for civil, aerospace, nuclear, biomedical and mechanical engineering, for geology, and for many branches of physics and chemistry such as materials science. It has specific applications in many other areas, such as understanding the anatomy of living beings, and the design of dental prostheses and surgical implants. One of the most common practical applications of solid mechanics is the Euler–Bernoulli beam equation. Solid mechanics extensively uses tensors to describe stresses, strains, and the relationship between them.
Solid mechanics is a vast subject because of the wide range of solid materials available, such as steel, wood, concrete, biological materials, textiles, geological materials, and plastics.
A solid is a material that can support a substantial amount of shearing force over a given time scale during a natural or industrial process or action. This is what distinguishes solids from fluids, because fluids also support normal forces which are those forces that are directed perpendicular to the material plane across from which they act and normal stress is the normal force per unit area of that material plane. Shearing forces in contrast with normal forces, act parallel rather than perpendicular to the material plane and the shearing force per unit area is called shear stress.
Therefore, solid mechanics examines the shear stress, deformation and the failure of solid materials and structures.
The most common topics covered in solid mechanics include:
stability of structures - examining whether structures can return to a given equilibrium after disturbance or partial/complete failure
dynamical systems and chaos - dealing with mechanical systems highly sensitive to their given initial position
thermomechanics - analyzing materials with models derived from principles of thermodynamics
biomechanics - solid mechanics applied to biological materials e.

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