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What makes dynamics more difficult?

  1. Dec 27, 2009 #1

    I am an ME student who finished up statics this past fall. I felt the course was not difficult at all, and had a lot of overlap with my calc physics courses. I have heard that dynamics is a significan step up in difficulty and I was wondering if someone could elaborate why in detail. Also what maths too brush up on prior to the course, I am assuming Diff EQ, up to laplace transforms maybe?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2009 #2


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    You really only need to be knowledgeable with differentials and matricies if I remember correctly. It isn't so much math intensive as it is conceptually difficult (IMO). Unlike statics, you start to look at things moving from different reference frames and that can get things a bit complicated. I remember the first time I was asked about the acceleration of the end of an arm, attached to a rotating plate attached to another arm on a moving robot.

    There are also two basic divisions; kinematics and dynamics. Kinematics just deals with the motions involved in a system. Dynamics takes the motions and throws in the forces involved as well.

    It was a tough class for me. I remember surviving it and thinking that robotics and such was not my cup of tea. Still, it was an interesting class that you will use for the rest of your career, just like statics.
  4. Dec 27, 2009 #3


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    In both classes you're essentially solving
    In statics ma=0, and in dynamics, it doesn't. Simplicity aside though, as Fred mentioned, things get really tricky when stuff starts moving. For me, the crux of the classes developing free-body diagrams. You've already learned how important they are in statics, and in dynamics, they are just as crucial.

    However, as said, when things start moving and rotating, forces and be difficult, keeping proper conventions, etc, etc.
  5. Dec 28, 2009 #4
    of course dynamics is a bit more difficult than statics.. i jus finished my kinematics and dynamics course this year and `l say that it doesnt involve too much of mathematical concepts ( as long as u can perform basic arithmetic operations and a little calculus). the real challenge comes in drawing free body diagrams of the forces involved in it.... coz the objects are moving , and u need some imagination to actually visualize the motion of the body before doing any calculation in it.dyanmics is interesting if you are strong in the basics of statics and newtonian mechanics.all the best
  6. Dec 30, 2009 #5


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    I found it to be about the same overall. However, it depends on the individual and their ability to "see the concept" so to speak.

    I found it more challenging in dynamics to get me head wrapped around the mathematical model of the physical system than I did in statics. Probably do to the system moving.

  7. Dec 30, 2009 #6
    I honestly find dynamics to be easier than statics. Although this probably isn't because of the difficulty of either topic, but more because dynamics isn't so mind numbingly boring.

    As minger stated, all you need to know is f = ma (or as I prefer f = dp/dt). Other than that, things aren't that much different than statics except for maybe the centripetal/centrifugal stuff.
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