Mechanics is a branch of physics which looks at objects that are moved by forces (including other bodies, or forces of nature).
The discipline has its roots in ancient Greece where Aristotle studied the way bodies behaved when they were thrown through the air (e.g. a stone). However it was Galileo, Kepler and especially Newton who laid the foundations for much of the so-called Newtonian mechanics we know today.
A person working in the discipline is known as a mechanician.
Mechanics is the original discipline of physics, dealing with the macroscopic world that humans perceive. It is therefore a huge body of knowledge about the natural world. Mechanics encompasses the movement of all matter in the universe under the four forces: gravity, the strong and weak interactions, and the electromagnetic interaction.
Mechanics also constitutes a central part of technology.
Some aspects of classical mechanicsEdit
- Astrodynamics, spacecraft navigation, orbital eccentricity, etc.
- Solid mechanics, elasticity, the properties of (semi-)rigid bodies
- Acoustics, sound in solids, fluids, etc.
- Hydraulics, fluids in equilibrium
- Applied / Engineering mechanics
- Statistical mechanics, large assemblies of particles
- Relativistic or Einsteinian mechanics, universal gravitation
Newton proposed three laws of motion.
- An object will stay at a constant speed unless a force acts on it.
- F= Ma: the overall force acting on an object = the mass of the object multiplied by the object's acceleration.
- For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.
The following are categorized as being part of Quantum mechanics:
- Particle physics, the motion, structure, and reactions of particles
- Nuclear physics, the motion, structure, and reactions of nuclei
- Condensed matter physics, quantum gases, solids, liquids, etc.
- Quantum statistical mechanics, large assemblies of particles