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Suggest a book for this statics course (exams attached)

  1. Dec 26, 2013 #1

    I'm currently studying physics in Europe, and am in some kind of "statics" course. It's a little unclear, as the course name is probably loosely translated from German, and the teacher didn't have any English books to recommend.

    He's a great prof, but our classes are almost exclusively him going through a long problem set he assigned to us at the beginning of the semester. It's been that way for around 2.5 months, and we only have class with him once per week.

    I badly need to get a book with which I can better understand the theory of what we're doing. He told us that he'd prefer we not use vectors to solve the problems, and instead, do them "graphically" (and algebraically) as that would help build a better intuition for things.

    I asked him if I could upload some old exams on a forum to get some book recommendations, and he said it was OK. I've attached them to the post.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2013 #2


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    I don't understand that. Vectors are geometric and analytic. Does he want you to break up each equation into its parts on each plane—which is the same as using vectors...

    Statics is just a branch of mechanics, so any mechanics book should be appropriate. There are also engineering books on the topic you might find beneficial.
  4. Dec 26, 2013 #3
    Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. If I recall correctly, he said that there were multiple ways to solve the problems, one of which being using the cross products, and he said he preferred the other way.

    The attachments are still pending approval, so I've uploaded the files on an external host. Below is the link to two past exams. Based on this, could you/anyone else reading this, suggest appropriate books? It's very tricky for me because my understanding of the course is very shallow. We haven't covered much theory and he skips certain parts of the syllabus, so I can't really know what to learn!

  5. Dec 26, 2013 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  6. Dec 26, 2013 #5


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    I would take the comment to mean he wants you to "think like an engineer," which is more about drawing sketches and diagrams than doing pages of vector algebra.

    But I don't expect he want you do use really "old-school" graphical methods, and solve some of the those problems by making accurate scale drawings (by hand, not with a CAD package)! But when it was done that way in real life, the more intuition and insight you could get just be looking at the situation, the less you needed to draw.
  7. Dec 26, 2013 #6


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    Well that makes sense; In a tedious, torturous, fun sort of way.
  8. Dec 26, 2013 #7
    The first method, yes, but then he said he'd still be somewhat if we did the second method as well.

    And Woopy, thanks for the suggestion. Any other options? (i.e, based on the exams)
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