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solid mechanics

HW 15

I find the book , An Introduction to the mechanics of solids , is very helpful to me.

 It is written by Stephen H. Crandall and Thomas Lardner .

Foundations of Solid Mechanics by Y. C. Fung

Here are the chapter names:

1) Prototypes of the theory of elasticity and viscoelasticity

2) Tensor analysis

3) Stress tensor

4) Analysis of strain

5) Conservation Laws

6) Elastic and plastic behavior of materials

7) Linear elasticity

8) Solutions of problems in elasticity by potentials

9) Two-dimensional problems in elasticity

10) Variational Calculus, energy theorems, saint-venant's principle

11) Hamilton's principle, wave propagation, applications of generalized coordinates 

Free vector calc and mechanics text!


John H. Heinbockel


Very clear treatment on tensors and vector calculus, also free online!

Stress and Deformation: A handbook on tensors in geology by Gerard Oertel

Despite the title, the book covers very little specifically on geology.  It works through stress, strain, and other tensor quantities, but assumes you know little about the math.  Fully worked problems make up the bulk of the book following a few introcutory chapters.  I've found it a nice review of the math, but haven't fully explored the solution sections.  I got the book from Cabot Science Library here at Harvard. I wouldn't recommend buying it on amazon it's not worth the $72, but it is a nice addition to Timoshenko's theory of elasticity.

Mechanics of Materials by R.C. Hibbeler

  • reviews 
  • Content (by chapter):
    • Stress
    • Strain
    • Mechanical Properties of Materials
    • Axial Load
    • Torsion
    • Bending
    • Transverse Shear
    • Combined  Loadings
    • Stress Transformation
    • Strain Transformation
    • Design of Beams and Shafts
    • Deflections of Beams and Shafts
    • Buckling of Columns
    • Energy Methods

ES 240 student fall 2007

My undergraduate and master major is engineer mechanics. I have took several courses about this field, like theory of elasticity and mechanics of materials. But my major during master degree is plant bio-mechanics, especially the role of water surface tension and water transport. So I deeply feel that I need to learn solid mechanics again. That is why I choose this course.

ES 240, Problem 6, from Lei Qiao

Prior courses in solid mechanics : None.

Undergraduate major: Computational Mathematics

My strength related to this course: familiar with linear algebra and mulitivariables calculus

My weakness related to this course: poor intuition for mechanics models

Research group: Prof. Radovitzky's computational solid mechancis group at MIT


Solid mechanics was at the top of my course list because of my interest in
strength of
materials. Prior courses in solid mechanics include undergraduate mechanics of
materials and an introduction to solid mechanics course. Mechanical engineering
was my undergraduate major. My main weakness related to this course is the
ability to take a real world problem, which is not spelled out and correctly
apply the theories learned in the course. My primary strength related to this

Sun Min Jung's picture

ES 240 - Sun Min Jung

Hi, my name is Sun Min Jung and I am pursuing a Master of Science in Engineering Sciences. Thus I do not belong to a research group, but I am interested in doing research next semester for a 299r. I will be going into industry as a stress engineer, so this course will prepare me to have the necessary background for the job, as well as prepare me for a 299r next semester.

Yuhang Hu's picture

ES 240 Problem 6

I took the course of Theory of Elasticity during my undergraduate study and the course of Finite Element Method during my master's study.  And my major is Engineering Mechanics. Therefore, I have some fundamental knowledge in solid mechanics but not enough, since I have no background in the aspects of plasticity and large deformation theory. I am currently doing research under Professor Suo's group ( and my research topic will focus on gel which is a kind of soft material.

HW 2 Problem 6

My name is Eric Kiser. I am part of the seismology group at EPS.  I am currently working on a back-projection method for imaging earthquakes.  My undergraduate major was in geology at the University of Illinois.  Some of the topics we are covering in ES 240 I have seen in my undergraduate geophysics classes.  I'm hoping to obtain a better understanding of stress and strain from this course, so I can apply it to physical properties within the Earth.

Pset 2 Problem 6

Hi everyone

   - my prior courses are mechancis of materials (ES 120) and intro to material science (ES 190)

   - I am pursuing Harvard's co-terminal AB/SM degree, and have finished my undergraduate requirements in engineering scinces with a focus on Mechanical Engineering

   - A definate plus is having taken the undergraduate class only a few years ago, and having much of the material presented in a very similar style which i have grown accustomed to.  My weakness is always the math.

Cai Shengqiang's picture

ES 240 Problem 6

I have got the master degree of Solid Mechanics in University of Science and Technology of China. Actually, I have taken several courses related to this subject, such as strength of materials and the theory of elasticity. So, my strength may be that I have some  knowledge about it, but my poor ability to solve PDE or even ODE could be the specific obstacle for studying this course. I will do research in Suo’s group(, and my research may be related to soft matters, such as gels.

ES 240 Problem 6

 My name is Maria Persson Gulda. I am a first year grad student at Harvard. I did my undergrad in Engineering Physics, with a minor in Applied Math, at University of Colorado at Boulder.

The classes from my undergrad that are closest related to this course are Classical Mechanics and Solid State Physics. I think my strength in ES 240 will be my applied math knowledge and my weakness will be my lack of courses in mechanics and/or materials.

Andrew Seagraves's picture

ES 240, Prob. 6

This entry is meant to summarize my personal information, and the reasons why I am taking this class.  Here are my responses to the bulleted topics:

 - I have taken three courses relating to solid mechanics prior to ES 240.  These were undergraduate classes taken at the Univ. of Delaware and they include:  (1)  Mechanics of Solids, (2) Material Science and Engineering,  (3) Design of Machinery

- My undergraduate major was Mechanical Engineering

Response to Problem 1 on Problem set 2

   In terms of my background, I have taken two courses relating to solid mechanics.  The first course was Mechanics of Deformable Bodies, which was an introductory strength of materials course.  I have also taken a course called Aerospace Structures.  In this course, the first half was devoted to elasticity and the second portion of the course was about solving problems relating to failure in aircraft.  We were also introduced to Finite Element Analysis and performed labs using FEA software.

   I majored in Mechanical Engineering as an undergraduate.


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