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Whence the Force of F=ma?

This is the title of a three-part series published in Physics Today by Frank Wilczek, the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at MIT. Prof. Wilczek is considered one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists, and is the 2004 Nobel laureate in Physics for work he did as a graduate student at Princeton University, when he was only 21 years old.

Prof. Wilczek contributes regularly to Physics Today and to Nature, explaining topics at the frontiers of physics to wider scientific audiences. The following series of his "musing on mechanics" won the Best American Science Writing in 2005:
Whence the Force of F=ma? 1: Culture Shock
Whence the Force of F=ma? II: Rationalizations
Whence the Force of F= ma ? III: Cultural Diversity

Prof. Wilczek recently published a book named Fantastic Realities, in which 49 inspiring pieces, including the above three, of "mind journeys" are included. This book also includes contribution from his wife Betsy Devine's blog on what winning a Nobel Prize looks like from inside prizewinner's family.
You may also enjoy a recent podcast of Scientific American, in which Prof. Wilczek and his wife talk about their new book.

Augustin Louis Cauchy (August 21, 1789 – May 23, 1857)

Augustin Louis Cauchy ( 21 August 1789 - 23 May 1857) was a French mathematician and mechanician. In mechanics, he in 1822 formalized the stress concept in the context of three-dimensional thoery, showed its properties as consisting of a 3 by 3 symmetric arrays of numbers that transform as a tensor, derived the equations of motion for a continuum in terms of the components of stress, and gave the specific development of the theory of linear elasticity for isotropic solids. As part of his work, Cauchy also introduced the equations which express the six components of strain, three extensinal and three shear, in terms of derivatives of displacements for the case when all those derivatives are much smaller than unity; similar expressions had been given earlier by Euler in expressing rates of straining in terms of the derivatives of the velocity field in a fluid. (cited from Mechanics of Solids by J.R. Rice) Read more...

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Kyung-Suk Kim won Ho-Am Prize of $200,000

Initially posted in Applied Mechanics News on 8 January 2006.

The Ho-Am Prize in Engineering for 2005 has been awarded to Dr. Kyung-Suk Kim, Professor of Engineering, Brown University. Dr. Kim has been a preeminent figure in the emerging field of nanomechanics from its beginnings. In particular, he has made important contributions towards the understanding of mechanics on the nano scale by creating novel scale-bridging techniques and formulating multi-scale theories and models.

Dr. Kim has led the establishment of the single-asperity friction law, using dislocation models to explain the nano and micro single-asperity-contact friction phenomena observed in experimental comparisons of atomic force microscope (AFM) and surface force apparatus (SFA) results. The friction law is a useful and necessary principle in designing fabrication processes of semiconductor nano-devices on solid surfaces and examining characteristics of nanostructures with an atomic force microscope. In addition, he provided a seminal method of measuring surface residual stresses on a fine scale, accurately formulating the self-organization principle of surface nanostructures in the evolution of surface roughness caused by stress during chemical etching. The chemical etching research was primarily funded by the CMS Division, while the nano friction research was principally funded by the MRSEC/DMR of the U.S. National Science Foundation.

He has been active in research, publishing more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals including Proceedings of The Royal Society of London, Jounrnal of The Mechanics & Physics of Solids, Physical Review Letters, editing three books in the field of nano and micro mechanics, organizing the first international nanomechanics workshop funded by the CMS Division, U.S. National Science Foundation in 1999, and contributing to the development of worldwide nano science and technology as Chairman of the Thin Film & Nano Structures symposium for the International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ICTAM) held in 2004. In addition, he has collaborated in research internationally with various research institutes, government agencies and universities including KAIST, KIST, SKKU, IMRE-Singapore, Cambridge University, US-NSF, Harvard University, UC Santa Barbara, University of Illinois UC, and Caltech. In addition, he has participated actively in industrial-academic partnerships with leading international industrial groups including IBM, GTE, Polaroid, Ford, GM, Samsung and Hyundai Motors.

The Ho-Am Prize is presented in the five areas of Science, Engineering, Medicine, The Arts and Community Service. In academic areas, the Ho-Am Prize is awarded to scholars and researchers who have made outstanding achievements of international standards. It is presented to commemorate their excellent endeavors and at the same time encourage their future activities to even higher levels and present exemplary models for the academic community. The prize in each area consists of a diploma, a plaque, a gold medal (187.5g) and 200 million Korean won (Approximately US$200,000).

The Ho-Am Prize was founded in 1990 by Chairman Kun-Hee Lee of Samsung inheriting the noble spirit of public service shown by his father, the late Byung-Chull Lee, founder of Samsung. The prize, named after the late Mr. Lee's sobriquet, is given to individuals who have contributed to cultural, artistic and social development or furthered the welfare of humanity through distinguished accomplishments in their respective professional fields. A special prize may also be given to Koreans who have made prominent accomplishments in professional fields other than those afore-mentioned, or to foreigners who have made major contributions to Korea's cultural and social advancement that transcend national and racial boundaries.

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Sir Isaac Newton, FRS (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727)

Sir Isaac Newton, FRS (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, mechanician, astronomer, alchemist, and natural philosopher who is generally regarded as one of the greatest scientists in history. Read more...

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Bridging scales in mechanics - "Where are the bottom and the top?"

Alan Needleman and Viggo Tvergaard have made significant contributions in the mechanics of fracture, friction, plasticity, structural instabilities, etc., in broad length and time scales. Needleman-Tvergaard symposium was held at Brown University campus to celebrate the 60th birthday of Alan Needleman and Viggo Tvergaard. You can find more photos and information.

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Robert Hooke (1635 - 1703)

Robert Hooke was an English scientist who made contributions to many different fields including mathematics, optics, mechanics, architecture and astronomy. He had a famous quarrel with Newton. Read more...

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Bernard Budiansky (1925 - 1999)

Prepared by James R. Rice and others.

Bernard Budiansky was an unabashed enthusiast about his profession, family, friends, and many other good things in life. He made innovative contributions to nearly every subfield of solid mechanics — the science of how materials and structures stretch, shake, buckle and break. His work as an applied mathematician and mechanical engineer strongly influenced structural engineering and materials technology, and even seismology and biomechanics. Read more...

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Applied Mechanics Division call for nomination: 2006-2007 Awards

The AMD Executive Committee is now seeking nominations for the awards listed below. The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2006 by 5pm Eastern Time.

Daniel C. Drucker Medal
The Daniel C. Drucker medal was established in 1997 and is conferred in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of applied mechanics and mechanical engineering through research, teaching and service to the community over a substantial period of time.

Warner T. Koiter Medal

The Warner T. Koiter Medal, established in 1996, is bestowed in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of solid mechanics with special emphasis on the effective blending of theoretical and applied elements of the discipline, and on a high degree of leadership in the international solid mechanics community.

Timoshenko Medal
The Timoshenko Medal was established in 1957 and is conferred in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of applied mechanics. Instituted by the Applied Mechanics Division, it honors Stephen P. Timoshenko, world-renowned authority in the field, and it commemorates his contributions as author and teacher.

Applied Mechanics Award
To an outstanding individual for significant contributions in the practice of engineering mechanics; contributions may result from innovation, research, design, leadership or education.

Young Investigator Award
Special achievement for a young investigator in Applied Mechanics.

A brief description of the award appears in the ASME Website. In addition, be sure to adhere to the requirements as outlined in the appropriate nomination form.

Nominations should be sent following ASME website directions and should also be sent directly to Thomas N. Farris by October 1, 2006 at:

Thomas N. Farris, AMD Chair
School of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Purdue University
315 N. Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2023
Tel: 765-494-5118
Fax: 765-494-0307

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We are attempting to post all Timoshenko Medal Lectures online, but we need your help

The year 2007 will mark the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Timoshenko Medal. Every November at the Annual Applied Mechanics Dinner , the medalist of the year delivers a lecture. Taken together, these lectures provide a long perspective of our field, as well as capsules of the lives of extraordinary individuals.

iMechanica is attempting to post all Timoshenko Medal Lectures online. You can locate the posted lectures by using the link Timoshenko Lectures.

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