ME102 ( saylor.org/courses/me102 ) is one of over 240 free online courses created by the Saylor Foundation. As we continue to build our iTunes U catalog, please visit www.saylor.org for additional courses; you can also connect with other students on our discussion forums and track your scores with our ePortfolio .
Note: Additional features for this course are available when viewed in the iTunes U app for iOS.
Purpose of Course Mechanics studies how forces affect bodies in motion—how, for example, a bullet is fired from a gun, or a top is set in motion by the flick of a wrist. As an engineer, you will find mechanics of vital importance to any field you choose to pursue. Whether you are designing a bridge or implementing an electrical power unit for an elevator, you will need to know how to determine which forces can be applied to a body without causing it to break, what happens when bodies collide, how an object moves when different forces are applied to it, and so on. This course will introduce you to the core concepts of mechanics that will enable you to answer these questions as you strive to design, test, and manufacture safe and reliable products.
While most universities split introductory mechanics into two courses, with one devoted to statics and the other to solids, this course will introduce you to both areas. You will begin by learning about statics—objects that are not accelerating (in other words, objects that are either at rest or moving at a constant speed). In this course, you will be able to visualize and understand how rigid bodies react to applied forces without having to worry about how the rate of acceleration or deceleration will impact the body. (These considerations are for later engineering courses that study dynamics.) You will also learn how to solve force and moment problems by drawing free body diagrams and applying equilibrium equations. You will learn to compute moments and resultants of force systems and study internal forces exerted on members. You will analyze trusses, machines, and frames, as well as study the effects of friction on belts and wedges.
Once you feel comfortable with statics, you will move on to solid analysis. You will examine the effects that forces have on solids. You will understand how forces produce stress and strain and deform bodies, as well as how bodies behave in elastic and plastic regions. You will study stress developed in bodies due to linear forces and moments in pure tension or compression, bending, and torsion.
In the later sections of this course, phenomena such as bending and fracture will come into play. You will study stresses in beams, which are basic objects that are used to build the framework for a number of structures, including cars, bridges, and buildings. You will analyze bodies and structure for various failure scenarios such as fracture, fatigue, creep, and buckling. These are important concepts, as you need to know how to design products that will not break unexpectedly.