What is Mechanics?

What is Mechanics? Thumbnail

At the carnivals, the high striker or the strongman game is quite popular. It involves a hammer or a mullet with the help of which the player strikes the base of the tower. If the hit is forceful enough, the puck rings the bell at the top of the tower. The game is based on the principles of mechanics.

But what is mechanics exactly? It is the study of interaction of a force with a body and how that body goes on to disturb the surrounding environment.  The force that you apply on the base of the tower with the help of the hammer makes the puck reach a certain height before it falls down or if you apply a strong enough force, it can even ring the bell.

A force and a body is needed

When we are studying mechanics, there are two important components of the system that we must observe. The first one of them are the forces and the second are the body or parts of a body on which these forces act. Here, “body” can refer to a single particle or a caravan of trucks, from electrons to big stars. We cannot merely observe a body and understand why it functions or moves in a particular way, we have to understand what kind of force is compelling it to move as such.

Classical mechanics

Classical mechanics deals with objects that you see around you. All the objects that you see with your eyes are big enough to be guided by the laws of classical mechanics. There are smaller bodies which you cannot see with your naked eyes, such as atoms and molecules, which do not follow classical mechanics. In general, classical mechanics came were the mechanics that Archimedes, Aristotle, Newton and Galileo worked on. They could not perceive the small atoms that are the building blocks of nature so they studied the motion of the objects around them and tried to grasp at the concepts which governed them.

Quantum mechanics

There was a big divide caused by the discovery of electron. This small particle did not follow the laws of motion that Newton said every object must follow. Nothing could be predicted about this tiny subatomic particle based on what came before and so there was a need for quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics differs from classical mechanics in the way these perceive matter. While classical mechanics consider the matter and its interaction with the surroundings to be deterministic, quantum mechanics says that matter follows a probabilistic framework. According to quantum mechanics, one cannot predict where an electron will be at a given time to a degree of absolute accuracy.

Relativistic mechanics

Einstein poured his genius brain in understanding what happens to matter when it travels with a speed which is closer to that of light. Light travels with the fastest speed in the known universe and Einstein said that Newton’s laws do not hold water when matter travels at such a speed. His revelations lead to the formation of relativistic mechanics which has laws that state how the matter behaves when traveling with a speed that is almost equal to that of light.

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