mechanics in physics
We explain what mechanics is in physics and the interests in which it focuses its studies. Also, how this discipline is classified.
Mechanics studies the movement, rest and evolution of bodies.
What is Mechanics?
In physical, the study is known as mechanics and analysis of movement and rest of the bodies, as well as their temporal evolution under the action of one or more forces. Its name comes from the Latin mechanics, which means "the art of building machines."
Also of interest to mechanics are the dynamics of physical systems, such as electromagnetic fields or systems of particles, despite the fact that they cannot be considered properly bodies.
Just like the rest of physics, this discipline borrows from math its formal language to express its contents and, at the same time, lays the foundation for most of the knowledge of classical engineering.
How is mechanics classified?
Quantum mechanics studies the atom and its fundamental particles.
The mechanics are subdivided into four main content blocks:
- Classic mechanics. Also known as «Newtonian mechanics» (it is based on the studies of Isaac Newton), it deals with macroscopic bodies that move at small speeds compared to that of the light (300000 km / s).
- Relativistic mechanics. Its name comes from the famousTheory of relativity formulated by Albert Einstein, whose studies revolutionized the field of physics. Special Relativity, formulated in 1905, describes the behavior of bodies that move with speeds close to that of light. In 1915 Einstein proposed a new explanation of the gravity with what is known as «general relativity», which studies bodies with masses of the order of planetary masses (or greater) or with densities very high, and is based on the principle that the dimensions of the weather and space (which in classical mechanics are considered fixed and universal) depend on the motion of the observer and, therefore, are relative.
- Quantum mechanics. This branch of physics deals with phenomena involving the atoms and fundamental particles (for example electrons). This theory is able to explain all the fundamental interactions of the matter, with the exception of the gravitational force. Within quantum mechanics there is relativistic quantum mechanics, which studies the behavior of subatomic particles that move at speeds close to that of light.
- Quantum field theory. This branch of mechanics is the most recent (first half of the 20th century) and its approach tries to apply the principles ofquantum mechanics treating the particles as continuous fields. This theory is very useful, for example, when studying the electromagnetic field and is capable of incorporating the principles of special relativity.