As I watch students working toward mastering the principles of statics, I find myself frequently answering some of the same basic questions. Despite countless hours of working through examples and homework problems from their textbooks, students often seem to be confused on the same several topics.
The problem isn't that the material in a typical statics class is overly difficult; I think the issue is just several simple misconceptions that manifest themselves through poorly written examples and unnecessarily complex wording in conventional statics textbooks.
That's why I've written Statics For Dummies — to help students of the subject get a better understanding than they may otherwise get in a classic textbook. In this book, my goal is to answer those basic questions by using simple explanations and eliminating a lot of the extra technical jargon.
No statics book can tell you how to solve every possible problem you encounter. What Statics For Dummies tells you is what you need to know and why you need to know it. Why are three-dimensional problems easier to solve with vector formulations than with scalar methods? What exactly is equilibrium, and how do Newton's laws guarantee it? How do you know the difference between a truss and frame? All of these topics are at the heart of understanding statics; after you've got these basics down, actually solving a statics problem is a snap!
In statics, one of the most important habits to form is being as methodical ...