Welcome! This book is an introduction to engineering mechanics: statics, when acceleration is 0. Hopefully, this course will help you to see statics everywhere in the world – because it truly is everywhere! Concepts include:

  • particles and rigid body equilibrium equations,
  • free-body diagrams,
  • distributed loads,
  • shear and moment diagrams,
  • trusses, method of joints and sections, &
  • inertia.

This is the first of two courses to describe how objects move and the forces that cause motion. This combines math and physics fundamentals with real-world application. A structured problem-solving process is included, and by the end of the book, you should be able to recognize and describe motion all around you in your everyday life.

Chapter 1 contains the fundamental math and physics concepts including vectors, Pythagorean theorem, sine and cosine laws, dot product, Newton’s laws, weight and mass, unit conversions, and the problem solving process.

Chapter 2 explains the difference between particles and rigid bodies and introduces free-body diagrams and equilibrium equations for particles.

Chapter 3 contains introductory rigid body concepts, including cross products, the right hand rule, torques/moments and couples, distributed loads and reaction/support forces.

Chapter 4 introduces free-body diagrams and equilibrium equations for rigid bodies, as well as external forces, frictional and impending motion.

Chapter 5 introduces trusses and two methods to solve truss systems: method of joints and method of sections.

Chapter 6 explains internal forces and breaks down shear/moment diagrams.

Chapter 7 introduces center of mass, mass moment of inertia, area moment of inertia, and the parallel axis theorem.

Appendix A has a reference list of open textbooks.

This book is a combination of many other open educational resources (OER) under similar creative commons licenses. This information is denoted inside a box like this. The links to the original source are very clearly included so you can go to those books to see what they say on other topics and try out their sample problems.

Key Takeaways

Most sections have a ‘key takeaway’ that includes text from me (Libby), containing the most important part of the section (Basically), where it occurs in the real world (Application), and what part of this course it connects to – the why are we learning this (Looking ahead).

The last section of each chapter includes examples that were submitted by former ENGN 1230 statics students to help you learn. Statics and most engineering courses are ‘team sports’. I recommend finding a few study partners to struggle through the homework and study for the tests together.

This book is a good start to helping you learn, but ultimately it’s up to you. Complete every homework and go to every class. But that’s not enough. Look at the solutions that are posted and practice.  You’ll get out of it what you put in, and statics can be fun. It’s how engineers apply physics concepts to the real world. I hope you learn to love learning engineering as much as I enjoy teaching it. Hopefully, you’ll get a sense of the wonder of engineering through this book.


Book cover image by malinoh from Pixabay


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Engineering Mechanics: Statics by Libby (Elizabeth) Osgood; Gayla Cameron; and Emma Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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