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Why is Applied Mechanics is impotant for engineering ?

  1. Jul 3, 2008 #1
    I just wanted to know why is Applied Mechanics is important for engineering and what i mean by that is The Mathematics.Why is that helpful for engineering i just don't understand Why is it helpful ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2008 #2

    RonL

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    First thought from my mind "is there anything in life that is not in some way linked to a mechanical application, or solution?"
     
  4. Jul 3, 2008 #3

    FredGarvin

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  5. Jul 3, 2008 #4

    Mech_Engineer

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    Engineering- Engineering is the discipline and profession of applying scientific knowledge and utilizing natural laws and physical resources in order to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and processes that realize a desired objective and meet specified criteria.

    Applied Mechanics- Applied Mechanics can be defined as the practical application of the behaviour of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effect of the bodies on their environment.


    Pretty much all engineering disciplines directly rely on applied mechanics in some form for the description and/or utilization of natural phenomenea and their applications. So basically, engineering and applied mechanics go hand-in-hand.

    So the answer, just as in the "Do Engineers really need math?" thread, is yes. Especially in mechanical, aerospace, civil, and other mechanically-oriented forms of engineering.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2008 #5
    but how can Mathematics's solve a solution in an engineering problem
     
  7. Jul 3, 2008 #6

    Mech_Engineer

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    What engineering problem doesn't use mathematics?! Every single application and design I have worked on as an engineer has had some form of math at the root of it. Every single one.
     
  8. Jul 3, 2008 #7
    But Why Thats what im trying to figure out
     
  9. Jul 3, 2008 #8

    Mech_Engineer

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    There are no engineering fields that do not require mathematics in some form, and most engineering fields require Differential Equations or higher. If you want a degree that doesn't require math, better look into liberal arts...
     
  10. Jul 3, 2008 #9

    brewnog

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    Because mathematics encompasses a huge range of tools which can be used to solve real-life problems.

    How do you know how big the cables which hold a bridge up should be? You work it out using maths.

    How do you know how much fuel is needed to take a rocket to Mars? You work it out using maths.

    How do you know how much energy will be required to keep a hospital running during a power cut? You work it out using maths.

    Need I continue?
     
  11. Jul 3, 2008 #10

    FredGarvin

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    That's like asking why do we need words to speak. Mathematics is the language of engineering and all of the other scientific/technical endeavors.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2008 #11

    mgb_phys

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    In simple to terms - if you want to know what the answer is going to be without trying it - you need maths.
    As brewnog said, if you want to know how thick to make bridge cables you can experiment by making them smaller and smaller until the bridge collapses, or you can use maths to calculate the forces involved and understand what is happening.
    Generally calculation is cheaper - at least in civil engineering.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2008 #12
    Oh ok so using mathematics in engineering can help you figure out how it will turn out to be ?
     
  14. Jul 3, 2008 #13
    If I tell you to build a damn, what do you do? Do you just go ahead a build it?

    Well, if it's to thin, the damn will break. That's a waste of money; and you're probably in for a big liability suite.
    If it's too thick, well great, but with the random amount of materials you decide you need, it will cost a lot of money. So much so that the bid will probably go to another company.

    Well damn! (no pun intended)
    I wish I had a way to calculate the right thickness I need!
     
  15. Jul 3, 2008 #14
    I would just build it
     
  16. Jul 3, 2008 #15
    Thank you for your support
     
  17. Jul 6, 2008 #16
    Hey!! the dam just collapsed!!
    NOW??
     
  18. Jul 6, 2008 #17
    How would you "just build it"? Without math you don't even know how much material you need.
     
  19. Jul 8, 2008 #18

    Mech_Engineer

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    You're completely missing the point of an engineering process. You're trying to say that anything can just be built using an iterative process of refinement if it deosn't work. That's how backyard tinkerers make things (and why they usually fail), not engineers. For any engineering project, trying to "just build it" is a recipe for disaster.

    Building a dam is a good example, you can't "just build it" because you have to make a lot of calculations and do a lot of design work first!!! This way you first of all know it will work and how strong it is before you even build it. Going through an iterative process of building dams until you get it right would be ridiculously expensive, and would be terribly dangerous considering there is a lot of engineering that goes into building a dam, let alone the dam's design itself. By designing it you can also guess at what it will look like and how much it will cost for an engineering and construction proposal.

    Things like this would have to calculated: how thick it will have to be, what shape it will need to be, how much flow is anticipated through it, what size turbines can be used in it for power generation, how much power generation is anticipated for the surrounding community, how will it be anchored in its surroundings, what kind of materials will be used, will the dam have traffic present on it, will the dam withstand events that could compromise its structure possibly putting people in danger downstream, how will you redistribute flow while the dam is being built, how will the dam be built, how long is its predicted lifetime, what will maintinence costs be... and a lot more.

    All of the above examples in a dam would have to be calculated using knowledge in statics, dynamics, structures, mechanics of materials, material science, industrial engineering, reliability engineering, heat transfer, and thermodynamics. In each case, calculations would be made using knowldedge in mathematics and the applicable subject.
     
  20. Jul 8, 2008 #19

    RonL

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    You are absolutely correct, I'm a backyard tinkerer and "most things" that I mess with very quickly become over sized, and or overweight, then the projects languish in an unfinished state until I use some parts and pieces in some other project. (but I still love doing it)

    Working without a proper budget and without math proven design drawings or a logical goal "is almost always a waste of time and effort".

    With that being said, there is a tremendous amount of self satisfaction when you save a couple of thousand dollars on repairs to a machine because you had some knowhow and built a jig out of a scrap pile that lets you pull 3,000 ft. lbs on a nut, using a 150 ft. lb torque wrench.:smile:(even here the basics of math HAD TO BE USED)

    Bottom line "learn the math so that your a value to someone else" the almost pure profit income is almost always the best way to live.

    Ron
     
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