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# Physics vs statics and dynamics?

Topic: Physics vs statics and dynamics?
June 25, 2019 / By Bethany
Question: This coming semester I'm signed up to take statics and dynamics, but my guidance counselor said the sign up system shouldn't have allowed me to do that. Apparently I need to take statics before dynamics, but he said I should be ok. I was looking at the statics book and noticed it's a lot like physics, especially the first 3 or so chapters. I already took a general physics class and did pretty well with it. So is my counselor right? Or is statics really important to take before dynamics? Will taking a general physics course beforehand be of much help? Also, I have the same professor for both statics and dynamics so I think that will help.

## Best Answers: Physics vs statics and dynamics?

Aggy | 2 days ago
Most of statics is really just an application of Newton's 2nd law, F = ma - that is, the net force on an object is equal to the mass times the net acceleration - for the special case that a = 0. If you understand that, you probably don't need to take another physics class to prepare for statics. But it's also very much a weed-out course for engineering. It's usually the first real engineering course that an undergrad takes, and if your experience is anything like mine was, homework problems will be required to be done very formally, explicitly stating assumptions, drawing diagrams for everything, and things like that. It's all to prepare you for the kind of documentation you'll be expected to do for later classes, and in a job. So it's a lot of work, and it's an adjustment. Dynamics is basically an application of F = ma when the acceleration is NOT equal to zero. If your previous physics course didn't use calculus, and didn't at least cover constant acceleration mechanics (did you study ballistics? do a problem where you shoot a monkey falling out of a tree and have to figure out where to aim the gun?), you might want to take something like that to prepare. Also, statics is a traditional prereq for dynamics, and your dynamics professor (as well as your textbook) will expect from day 1 that everyone in the class knows statics, which is, after all, a special case of dynamics, and he or she will build from that assumed knowledge. It really doesn't matter that it's the same person you're seeing at the front of the room in statics class. So, for a number of reasons, I'd say take statics before you take dynamics, even though your guidance counselor thinks it will be okay. If you're looking to take two mechanics courses together to get ahead or catch up, dynamics and strength of materials (aka mechanics of materials) are a better choice. And assuming you've taken a physics with calculus course intended for physics and engineering majors, you should be okay. (Well, slight caveat - usually "freshman physics" is broken into two semesters, with the first semester focusing on mechanics, and the second semester focusing on electromagnetics. You want the mechanics course.) I hope that helps!
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Originally Answered: Is statics much harder than general physics?
You would do well not to shortcut yourself in physics and mathematics. Statics is full of math, and statics in Civil Engineering is grueling. I took Physical Chemistry in college without having done partial differentials in calculus, and I nearly drowned in that class because of it. It was because of sheer persistence and many visits to the professor's office that I got a decent grade in the class. Statics has to do with how structures act in the presence of forces. It is statics because these forces are in balance with each other, but they are different magnitudes and directions within the structures themselves. There is the force of gravity, pulling down on a structure toward the earth. There is the normal force, which pushes up perpendicular to the ground against the structure. Then there is also moment--or torque--which is a twisting force. A cantilever can have several forces. Think of a diagonal I-beam that has a compression force that tends to push the ends toward the middle, a gravitational force that pulls down at each end, forcing it to push sideways against another part of the structure. The structure also pushes back and stops the I-beam from rotating down in the direction of gravity. Think of a flag brace. Gravity pulls at both ends of the flag. If you only connect the bottom of the flagpole to the house, then the tip will rotate around that attachment and fall down. That is called moment. So you have a brace where a piece across the top of the brace acts on another part of the flagpole to give it just enough counter-twist to keep it from falling. Think of a coat hanger. The triangle of a coathanger is pulled down at either side of the base by gravity. Because the triangle is diagonal, some of that force ends up in a diagonal direction, causing the upper arms to pull from the center to the ends--causing a tension across each upper bar. The bottom, horizontal base pulls these two arms together into equilibrium, and thus sets up a compression along the base bar. Compression Tension Moment Torque Civil Engineering Bridge Building Look all these up to see what statics is all about. It's fascinating. I was good at calculus in my day, but I was lucky enough to get a passing grade in this class. Different people are different, but it definitely has a lot of mathematics and problem solving, and especially mapping of forces involved. Be prepared to study a lot and get a lot of the professor's help if you go ahead and take it.

Tikva
The difference between statics and dynamics is acceleration. F = m*a, in statics a=0, in dynamics that isn't the case. You should be fine in terms of the material covered if you've had physics already (which is a prerequisite for mechanics courses). Mechanics classes (statics, dynamics, strength of materials, etc.) are in-depth, specific cases of things you've seen a bit of already, and there isn't a lot of overlap between statics and dynamics, neither really relies on the material from the other. Having the same professor will only help if he/she is good. You really need to work hard to understand this material, as it is the foundation for everything you do in engineering school.
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Raleigh
This Site Might Help You. RE: Physics vs statics and dynamics? This coming semester I'm signed up to take statics and dynamics, but my guidance counselor said the sign up system shouldn't have allowed me to do that. Apparently I need to take statics before dynamics, but he said I should be ok. I was looking at the statics book and noticed it's a...
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Marlon
you're right about dynamics being similar to statics except the body is moving. but dynamics is a lot harder in my opinion. statics was mostly common sense, dynamics involves forces and acceleration. You deal with a lot of different coordinate systems. Mechanics of Materials uses what you learned in statics. You learn about different materials and their properties, and what kinds of loads different beams, etc. can support. both classes are harder than statics.
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Jerred
For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/axPcm It's just common to make the positive direction in the same direction as the movement. In statics there is no movement so we always just take up being + and down being - In this case since it's moving downwards, they just made downwards + and up - They CHOSE to do that. You will get the same answer if you stick with up being +
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Originally Answered: Bill Nye has a degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell university. They study material science, thermal and fluid dynamics, physics.?
They have a certain set of beliefs, and Bill's words conflict with them quite often. Since they use certain rules to understand our natural world, they see Bill as a quack and focusing on his degree helps justify such a position. Now, while earning a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering is not easy, many will note it's still just a Bachelor's and a certain snobbery may come into play. We generally are impressed by the BS, but we don't look towards them when we need to find an expert in the field. Those are people with a Master's at least, if not a Ph.D or some higher up professional credentials like MDs, DOs, JDs, etc. In Bill's case, all of his Doctorates are Honorary, which are impressive but aren't earned academically. Many would be offended if he were to introduce himself as "Bill Nye the Science Doctor" instead of guy (and not for the lack of rhyming), and I've seen a lot of people who disagree with him point out his one BS because it does allow them more to question his claims, at least in their eyes. Still, I wouldn't think that Nye is infallible. I have a BS as well, in neuroscience, as well as an MS in medical sciences. I'm currently working to get a DO, too. While I normally agree with Nye, his newfound stance on gender and sex isn't so scientifically grounded and seems to be politically driven from my point of view. Bill does make claims that actual scientists do question, since he does lack expertise in quite a lot of things when it comes to the scientific world.

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