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An e-book on engineering fracture mechanics

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

Here is an e-book on Engineering Fracture Mechanics ; you can also download a demo version, the preface, and other related stuff from the page. The idea of the book (as described in the page) sounds interesting:

This e-book is innovative in many ways. In this, a novel attempt is made to
mimic the class room environment of developing the concepts through a series of careful steps. Text and animations are juxtaposed on a single screen for convenient learning. The textual matter is in the form of points and in many cases it synchronizes with the diagram or animation. This form of presentation is hoped to provide a semblance of class room teaching while viewing it on one’s PC. Voice is intentionally not recorded, so that any one can provide additional explanations based on the material provided. The mathematical derivations are developed such that the slides pause at predefined steps allowing the learner to think and answer or help the teacher to make the class participate while using the e-book for teaching. (...) While using the e-book, the user has to participate in the learning process. It is suggested that the learner sits with a pen and paper and view the e-book on his/her PC to learn the course.

The e-book has fourteen chapters. In each chapter, the contents page has an animation which indicates the learning goals for that chapter. To completely cover the slides provided, one would require a minimum of sixty hours. Depending on the nature of the class/teacher one can choose selected topics, so that a one semester (42 lectures) first level course on Fracture mechanics could be delivered.

Here is a review of the book in Resonance by Prof. KRY Simha (pdf) who strongly recommends the book (though, I think, all the stuff about bright minds leaving their disciplines for desultory jobs is unwarranted in a review of this sort).

Unfortunately, the book page does not mention the price of the book (which is not a good sales strategy). I also have a small complaint about the Linux unfriendliness of the book. In any case, for those who teach fracture mechanics, the book might be of interest.



Do you know whether there's a version in the works for Linux/Mac users like me?

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

Dear Biswajit,

The book page lists the following things as system requirements:

Pentium 4 processor,
128 MB RAM, Windows Operating System (2000, XP), Internet Explorer 5+
with Flash Plugin Support.

However, if flash plugin support is all needed for the e-book, then probably firefox running on a Linux/Mac should be possible. Thus, I do not know why they mention Windows 2000 and XP.



Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

Dear Biswajit,

I wrote to Prof. Ramesh; he says that there is no version that can be used with Linux/Mac, which, I think is unfortunate! 

Thanks alot for this

The price I was quoted for the fracture e-book was around $600 - ouch!

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

Dear Alan,

It is a shame; I did not know the price when I saw the book review. But, I did have a suspicion about the costs because they were not open about it on their pages! Even then, $600 is too... steep. 


A corection to my previous note - The price I was quoted for educational insititutions was $350.  The $600 cost was for non-educational customers. To justify the cost, I think that one needs to think of this material more as a video course than a textbook.  

K. Ramesh's picture

Prof. K. Ramesh IIT Madras, India

The e-book has been developed as a labour of love with no intention on making money out of it. The book has taken five years to develope - almost ten times the effort of a normal book. I have tried many new ideas and the focus has been on - to what extent the multimedia can help one to teach it better. I have included a lot of experimental results - many experiments are commissioned exclusively for this!

In iMechnaica some have asked Mode-II isochromatics, how to get J-from Ansys etc. - you will find all that in that book.

I came to know of iMechanica only when Mr. Gururajan sent me a mail that he has posted about my book. It is nice of him to have done so.

I enjoyed looking at iMechanica as very pertinent discussion on various issues of Fracture is done - Keep up the spirit.

Pricing is a complex issue and the book is competetively prized for a book of this nature. It is difficult to appreciate it in the first go -   As good researchers first find what the book is and then come to conclusions. The book is priced so low (yes it is!) because it is developed in India that too in an educational institution.

iMechanica also gives a lot of free download sites - good - unfortunately the current e-book is not free. You may decide to remove the reference to this book completely if you so wish. 

Thanks for your patience 


The pricing plan is different. The book is sold to a machine. The recommended no. of copies is 5 to 10 for a class of 25, not 25.

For more info, see point #. 13 on the book FAQ page:

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