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These notes are a part of the notes on linear algebra.

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Imperfections in Crystalline Solids

Wei Cai and Bill Nix, of Stanford University, have just published a new textbook Imperfections in Crystalline Solids.  You can look at the first chapter at the website of the Cambridge University Press.  

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Cartesian product

These notes are a part of the notes on linear algebra.

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These notes are a part of the notes on linear algebra.

Zhigang Suo's picture


These notes are a part of the notes on linear algebra.

Zhigang Suo's picture

A new review article on stretchable and reconfigurable electronics

Muhammad Hussain leads a dynamic group at KAUST working on the development of stretchable and reconfigurable electronics.  He came to the field with a background of semiconductors.  Last year he gave an Applied Mechanics Colloquium at Harvard.  Students and faculty were all deeply impressed by the creativity and range of his work.

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Toughness due to hysteretic deformation

These fragments of notes are intended for a course on fracture mechanics, but I have always run out of time, and have never managed to go over them in class.  Some of the ideas are mentioned in various parts of the class.  I have also listed refeences and review articles.


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Linear form

These notes are part of my notes on linear algebra.  I believe that textbooks of linear algebra give a bad definition of linear form.  The last section of the notes explain why it is bad.  I also give examples of linear form everyday life and from physics.  Given the vector space of distance, both force and electric field are dual spaces of the space of distance.  They are distict dual spaces of the space of distance, and they are not dual spaces to each other.

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Linear Algebra

I’ll post sections of notes on linear algebra when they are ready.

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Gibbs's Paper II: equilibrium, stability, metastability, phases, critical points, and exergy


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Gibbs: Thermodynamics

I bought this reprint by the Ox Bow Press in 1990s.  The quality of print is excellent. The book collects all papers of Gibbs on thermodynamics. I’ll focus on the three main papers:  Paper I (pp. 1-32), Paper II (pp. 33-54), and Paper III (pp. 55-371).  Papers I and II are short and fundamental.  Paper III is very long; it applied the basic approach developed in the short papers to a large number of important phenomena.  Over the years I have returned to the book many times, and will continue to do so in coming years.

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The Mechanical Theory of Heat, by Rudolf Clausius, edited by Thomas Archer Hirst, 1867

This book collects English translations of nine papers, published in journals by Clausius, between 1850 and 1865.  This collection of original papers should not be confused with a later book of the same title, also by Clausius, where he worked his original papers into a textbook.

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Reading unfortunate Planck

Planck submitted his doctoral dissertation in 1879, at the age of 21. According to Planck’s autobiography, his dissertation elaborated on Clausius's entropy and its role in distinguishing reversible and irreversible processes. His dissertation failed to interest his professors, Helmholtz and Kirchhoff among them. Planck subsequently, as a young academic, applied the principle of the increase of entropy to analyze phases and ideal-gas mixtures.

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Masters of Thermodynamics

One Internet, multiple worlds.  People have gone mobile, but iMechanica has not.  Although iMechanica is accessible from mobile phones, but it was not designed as such.  On the other hand, mobile social networks are good mostly for short forms.  A practical solution seems to be posting on iMechanica and linking the entries to social networks, such as twitter, wechat, and Facebook.  For example, The New Yorker has a strong presence on Facebook, as my sons and their friends would say.   

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Chemical reaction

Attached are the slides for a course on engineering thermodynamics.  Before coming to class, please watch these two videos on fuel cells:  

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Psychrometry and HVAC

Attatched are the slides for a course on engineering thermodynamics.  Before coming to class, please watch this tutorial on psychrometry. 

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Ideal-gas mixture

These slides are used in a course on thermodynamics.

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Engines, refrigerators, and heat pumps

slides for a course on engineering thermodynamics.  

Engines move.  Please watch some videos before you come to lectures.  Here are several videos to get you started.

  1. The Innovation of the engine

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Control volume

These slides are used in a course on thermodynamics.

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IUTAM Congress 2016

The International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics will be held in Montréal, Canada, August 21-26, 2016.  The deadline for submitting a paper will be 15 January 2016.

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Friends of Extreme Mechanics Letters

When I traveled in China in June, I was once again irritated by the Internet.  It was often slow and broken.  Many important services are inaccessible, blocked by someone.  Why would someone do that?

But I found my Chinese colleagues extremely well interconnected.  Everyone has a cell phone.  They actually use their cell phones!  

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Fossil-fueled civilization

I'll be teaching an undergraduate course on engineering thermodynamics.  We will use the textbook by Cengel and Boles.  I will supplement the textbook using my own notes on thermodynamics.

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Extreme Mechanics Letters

The initial issues of Extreme Mechanics Letters are freely accessible.  We look forward to receiving your submissions.  Your contribution will help to build this home of mechanicians.


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Speech at the 2015 Commencement of Xian Jiaotong University














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