Students undertaking a mechanics of materials class often find themselves facing a common dilemma: In their basic statics and dynamics
classes, they focused on dealing exclusively with a key set of assumptions —
namely, that objects subjected to load don’t deform — but mechanics of
materials throws many of those assumptions out the window.
Mechanics of materials is often your first foray into the real world from the
land of theory in mechanics and physics. This class is where you start to take
your basic understanding of the world around you and shape your surroundings to perform specific tasks; that is, you design stuff. This point is where I
tell students that with a bit of knowledge, you can become quite dangerous