Liberec, Czech Republic

Applied Mechanics

Aplikovaná mechanika

Integrated Master's degree
Language: CzechStudies in Czech
Subject area: engineering and engineering trades
Kind of studies: full-time studies, part-time studies
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Mechanics (Greek μηχανική) is that area of science concerned with the behaviour of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment. The scientific discipline has its origins in Ancient Greece with the writings of Aristotle and Archimedes (see History of classical mechanics and Timeline of classical mechanics). During the early modern period, scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, and Newton laid the foundation for what is now known as classical mechanics. It is a branch of classical physics that deals with particles that are either at rest or are moving with velocities significantly less than the speed of light. It can also be defined as a branch of science which deals with the motion of and forces on objects.
To the art of mechanics is owing all sorts of instruments to work with, all engines of war, ships, bridges, mills, curious roofs and arches, stately theatres, columns, pendent galleries, and all other grand works in building. Also clocks, watches, jacks, chariots, carts and carriages, and even the wheel-barrow. Architecture, navigation, husbandry, and military affairs, owe their invention and use to this art.
William Emerson (1754/73) The Principles of Mechanics. Preface; Cited in: R.S. Woolhouse (1988) Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Essays in Honour of Gerd Buchdahl. p. 29.
When he meets a simple geometrical construction, for instance in the honeycomb, he would fain refer it to physical instinct, or to skill and ingenuity, rather than to the operation of physical forces or mathematical laws; when he sees in a snail, or nautilus, or tiny foraminiferal or radiolarian shell a close approach to sphere or spiral, he is prone of old habit to believe that after all it is something more than a spiral or a sphere, and that in this "something more" there lies what neither mathematics nor physics can explain. In short, he is deeply reluctant to compare the living with the dead, or to explain by geometry or by mechanics the things which have their part in the mystery of life.
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, On Growth and Form (1917).
My greatest concern was what to call it. I thought of calling it 'information,' but the word was overly used, so I decided to call it 'uncertainty.' When I discussed it with John von Neumann, he had a better idea. Von Neumann told me, 'You should call it entropy, for two reasons. In the first place your uncertainty function has been used in statistical mechanics under that name, so it already has a name. In the second place, and more important, no one really knows what entropy really is, so in a debate you will always have the advantage.'
Claude Elwood Shannon Scientific American (1971), volume 225, page 180 : Explaining why he named his uncertainty function "entropy".
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