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Statics For Dummies by James H. Allen, III, PE, PhD

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Chapter 2. A Quick Mathematics Refresher

Because you've chosen to study statics, you're probably already aware of the importance of mathematics in your studies. If not, I've got bad news: You just can't easily avoid numbers and calculations (particularly geometry and trigonometry) in your pursuit. Statics can provide you with solid physical principles for studying the world around you, but your skill with numbers and computations is what makes this information truly shine.

Think about the first rocket scientists that helped send astronauts to the moon with the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s. Those scientists were among the smartest people on the planet at the time in physics theory, astronomy, dynamics, and statics (yes, even back then), among countless other areas of expertise. Imagine the success, or lack thereof, they would have experienced if they didn't have strong mathematical backgrounds.

This chapter reviews some of the mathematics skills required to efficiently solve statics problems. In this chapter I cover some basic nomenclature involving scientific notation, show algebra skills that prove useful, and review several geometric and trigonometric fundamentals. I conclude the chapter by showing how to use the power rule in calculus to integrate and differentiate.

Keeping Things ...

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