This textbook is a modern, concise and focused treatment of the mathematical techniques, physical theories and applications of rigid body mechanics, bridging the gap between the geometric and more classical approaches to the topic. It emphasizes the fundamentals of the subject, stresses the importance of notation, integrates the modern geometric view of mechanics and offers a wide variety of examples -- ranging from molecular dynamics to mechanics of robots and planetary rotational dynamics. The author has unified his presentation such that applied mathematicians, mechanical and astro-aerodynamical engineers, physicists, computer scientists and astronomers can all meet the subject on common ground, despite their diverse applications.
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William B. Heard holds an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Astronomy from Yale University. From 1973 to 1975, he taught as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy and in 1975 accepted a post as Scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory. Here, he developed theoretical and computational techniques for space systems and internal ocean waves. From 1978 to 2003, Dr. Heard worked as a Scientist for Exxon/Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering. During these years, he held a variety of adjunct teaching positions at Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology and Fairleigh Dickinson University where he taught numerical methods, computational fluid dynamics and continuum mechanics. In 2003, Dr. Heard took retirement and now works as an independent writer.
1 Rotations 2 Kinematics, Energy and Momentum 3 Dynamics 4 Constrained Systems 5 Integrable Systems 6 Numerical Methods 7 Applications Appendix A Spherical Trigonometry B Elliptic Functions C Lie Groups and Lie Algebras