Mechanics! Is it stressful?


Scientific learning creates a path towards a better future. Science is mainly divided into Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. These independent streams are further classified into independent disciplines. Mechanics is one among the sub-disciplines of Physics which is mostly hated by all of us. It is filled with formulas, derivations and numerical.

Under mechanics, we study the mechanical properties of solids. Which mainly focus on the interaction of matter with macroscopic parameters like, Temperature, Pressure, Force etc. Consider an object, which when exposed to an external force exhibits some change in its physical dimension.

This change in the physical dimension of an object when an external force is acted called stress. Stress can be defined as force per unit area. Measure using N/m2. Stress on a solid can be due to temperature, longitudinal force, shear force etc. let us study them sequentially.

We know about the effect of temperature on solids.  The rise in temperature can expand the solids, similarly fall in temperature can shrink the solid. This expansion and contraction impose a force which results in stress. This stress experienced by an object due to the change in temperature is called thermal stress.

Other than temperature, force can also exert pressure on a solid. If two equal and opposite force is acting on two opposite sides of a cylindrical solid block, which exert a pressure, resulting in an increase in its length such stress is called Tensile stress.

If the same scenario is repeated with the same nature of the force in order to compress the cylinder, then such stress is called compressive stress. If we observe in both the cases the nature of stress is similar, both results in the change in length. It may be compression or elongation. The direction of the force acting is always perpendicular to the area of cross-section. Thus both are combined to categorize as longitudinal stress.

If the direction of the force acting is parallel to the area of cross-section. Then the object tilts. How much it tilts depends on the magnitude of the force acting along its surface. Such stress is called shear stress.

The changes caused due to stress is measured by the stain. Thus, the strain is the change in the dimension to the original dimension of an object.

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