Chapter 1 Analysis of Stress

1.1 Introduction

The basic structure of matter is characterized by nonuniformity and discontinuity attributable to its various subdivisions: molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles. Our concern in this text is not with the particulate structure, however, and it will be assumed that the matter with which we are concerned is homogeneous and continuously distributed over its volume. There is the clear implication in such an approach that the smallest element cut from the body possesses the same properties as the body. Random fluctuations in the properties of the material are thus of no consequence. This approach is that of continuum mechanics, in which solid elastic materials are treated as though they are continuous ...

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