Conditions of Use
The topics covered in a typical college Engineering Statics course are present. The chapters follow a common Statics textbook pattern of concepts, starting with forces and particles and ending with friction and moments of inertia. Chapter 6... read more
The topics covered in a typical college Engineering Statics course are present. The chapters follow a common Statics textbook pattern of concepts, starting with forces and particles and ending with friction and moments of inertia. Chapter 6 includes the method of cuts and the method of joints. The only thing that many commercial Statics textbooks have compared to this book is an extensive number of problems at the end of each chapter (the fiction chapter, in particular, had few practice problems) and more reference material at the end of the book such as the centroid of common shapes. What this book has that those commercial books lack are interactive problems.
To the best of my knowledge, the content in the book is accurate. The interactive problems I attempted showed the same auto-generated answer as I recorded using pencil and paper. The equations seem accurate throughout. The reference material at the end of the book which contains things like trig identities and properties of steel sections seems accurate.
The fundamentals of Engineering Statics, like introductory Physics and Chemistry, have not changed in a decade. So the content in the book is relevant to a current Statics course and will be relevant to future Statics classes. The only reason the book could become dated is that the interactive animations and interactive problems are no longer supported by new web browsers or new web browsing tools that I can’t even imagine will be in place in 10 years. The book has a pdf version that can be printed.
The clarity of the writing is high, the font and spacing are easy to read. The book is written in a formal academic style which is clear but can seem terse. The diagrams in the book are easy to read and use a common style to show forces, angles, and geometry.
The book is consistent from chapter to chapter and the formatting is consistent from chapter to chapter. The book has a clear numbering system for chapters, sections, and subsections. Each of the diagrams and pictures in the book follows the same captioning format. Equations in the book are formatted consistently and labeled in the same way. Each section within a chapter in the book contains a set of “key questions” that section addresses.
The book is broken up into chapters and each chapter is broken down into sections. A typical quarter or semester-long Statics course would cover almost all of the book. It would be possible to only cover a few chapters. These chapters would need to start at the beginning of the book. It wouldn’t make sense to try and pull out just the middle or end chapters as the material in the book builds up chapter to chapter. One way the book could be used is to just assign the interactive problems for practice.
This book is organized and follows a clear structure. Each chapter starts with a chapter description and a list of sections. Each section starts with “Key Questions” and then proceeds with the section content. There are interactive problems at the end of each chapter.
The online book interface is easy to navigate. Each chapter and section is clickable and it is easy to determine which part of the book you are reading. The sections load quickly and the images, diagrams, and interactive problems load without issue. In particular, the interactive problems are pretty slick. The only reason I don’t rate the interface as a 5 is that there is no search function. I don’t know how hard it would be to add a search bar to the online version of the book, but I do think a search function would be helpful. On my device, the book only took up the left half of my screen. This may be related to the browser/device I use, but in my reading, it seems like half of the screen real estate is wasted and a lot of scrolling is needed.
No grammatical or structural errors were found. The book seems to be free of typos and seems well-proofed. There also don’t seem to be any formatting inconsistencies chapter to chapter or section to section.
From what I read, I didn't notice any insensitive or offensive passages in the book. However, the lens of diversity and cultural relevance is not addressed in this book. Some of the pictures in the book depicting statics topics cover common “male-dominated” examples such as motorcycles, and football training sleds.
This is a well-written, high-quality, and organized book. It is a great resource for both instructors and students in undergraduate courses in Engineering Statics. For our needs, at a community college with a 2-year program in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering, this book is a good alternative to commercial offerings from Pearson or McGraw-Hill. It’s a high-quality and interesting book with fantastic interactive problems. The only knock against it is that there could be more worked examples and problems at the end of each chapter for student practice.
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction to Statics
- 2 Forces and Other Vectors
- 3 Equilibrium of Particles
- 4 Moments and Static Equivalence
- 5 Rigid Body Equilibrium
- 6 Equilibrium of Structures
- 7 Centroids and Centers of Gravity
- 8 Internal Loadings
- 9 Friction
- 10 Moments of Inertia
About the Book
Engineering Statics is a free, open-source textbook appropriate for anyone who wishes to learn more about vectors, forces, moments, static equilibrium, and the properties of shapes. Specifically, it has been written to be the textbook for Engineering Mechanics: Statics, the first course in the Engineering Mechanics series offered in most university-level engineering programs.
This book’s content should prepare you for subsequent classes covering Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics and Mechanics of Materials. At its core, Engineering Statics provides the tools to solve static equilibrium problems for rigid bodies. The additional topics of resolving internal loads in rigid bodies and computing area moments of inertia are also included as stepping stones for later courses. We have endeavored to write in an approachable style and provide many questions, examples, and interactives for you to engage with and learn from.
About the Contributors
Daniel W. Baker, Colorado State University
William Haynes, Massachusetts Maritime Academy