An introductory engineering textbook by an award-winning MIT professor that covers the history of dynamics and the dynamical analyses of mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical systems.
This introductory textbook offers a distinctive blend of the modern and the historical, seeking to encourage an appreciation for the history of dynamics while also presenting a framework for future learning. The text presents engineering mechanics as a unified field, emphasizing dynamics but integrating topics from other disciplines, including design and the humanities.
The book begins with a history of mechanics, suitable for an undergraduate overview. Subsequent chapters cover such topics as three-dimensional kinematics; the direct approach, also known as vectorial mechanics or the momentum approach; the indirect approach, also called lagrangian dynamics or variational dynamics; an expansion of the momentum and lagrangian formulations to extended bodies; lumped-parameter electrical and electromagnetic devices; and equations of motion for one-dimensional continuum models. The book is noteworthy in covering both lagrangian dynamics and vibration analysis. The principles covered are relatively few and easy to articulate; the examples are rich and broad. Summary tables, often in the form of flowcharts, appear throughout. End-of-chapter problems begin at an elementary level and become increasingly difficult. Appendixes provide theoretical and mathematical support for the main text.
James H. Williams, Jr. is School of Engineering Professor of Teaching Excellence (inaugural chairholder) and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is also Professor of Writing and Humanistic Studies in MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. He was awarded the inaugural J. P. Den Hartog Distinguished Educator Award for excellence in teaching mechanical engineering. He has conducted dozens of international engineering consultations.