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KiltedEngineer

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Im a third year MechE student and I am focusing my studies on thermodynamics and control theory. I am getting really deep into the controls right now and after taking some introductory courses there are so many things that puzzle me even though I understand the actual theory.

This may sound stupid but I have no idea how to apply all of this theory that I have learned. For instance, I have learned about impulse response and how it demonstrates in the simplest way how a system responds to an input. However, I struggle with realizing why this is important. It seems that controlling an electric motor is as simple as switching it on and off or using something analog tomcontrol speed. Our teacher always says that wenused State Space (which I have only heard of, not studied) ro get to the moon, but what exactly does that mean?

The other thing that really puzzles me is how to interpret the mathematics. For example in Thermo, we can calculate the temperature ofmamstatenin a cycle and use that data to choose/design a suitable material in order to withstand that temperature. However control theory does not seem as clear cut. How to we translate the datanwe received into an actual application. Like if we analyze a problem in matlab, what do we use to put it into the real world? How do we use a transfer function to design a control system and why?

I probably sound very stupid, and the question may not be very clear but any response is appreciated.

Thanks