Chapter 1. Using Statics to Describe the World around You

Statics is a branch of physics that is especially useful in the fields of engineering and science. Although general physics may describe all the actions around you, from the waving of leaves on a tree to the reflection of light on a pond, the field of statics is much more specific.

In fact, statics is actually a part of most physics courses. So if you've ever taken a high school or college physics course, chances are that some of the information in this book may seem vaguely familiar. For example, one of the first areas you study in physics is often Newtonian mechanics, which is basically statics and dynamics.

Physics classes typically cover a wide range of topics, basically because physics has a wide range of applications. Conversely, a statics course is much more focused (which doesn't necessarily mean it's simple). Whoever said that the devil is in the details may well have been talking about statics.

Before you panic, close the book, and begin questioning why you ever thought you could understand statics, let me reassure you that just because statics isn't always simple doesn't mean it's always difficult. If anything, statics does happen to be very methodical. If you follow some basic steps and apply some basic ideas and theory, statics actually can become a very straightforward application ...

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