Skip to main content

Statics: Analysis and Design of Systems in Equilibrium, Update Edition

Statics: Analysis and Design of Systems in Equilibrium, Update Edition

Sheri D. Sheppard, Benson H. Tongue

ISBN: 978-0-471-94721-9

May 2006

656 pages

In Stock



Statics: Analysis and Design of Systems in Equilibrium, by Sheri D. Sheppard of Stanford University, and Benson H. Tongue, University of California, Berkeley, offers a student-focused approach to Statics. With a strong emphasis on drawing free body diagrams, use of a structured problem-solving methodology, inclusion of real-world case studies, and robust pedagogy coupled with a truly engaging writing style, reviewers alike have praised this new Statics text. Additionally, this first edition has benefited from a comprehensive and thorough accuracy check by 15 experienced professors, and has been reviewed by more than 200 Statics and Dynamics professors.

The text seeks to improve students’ abilities to map their understanding to more realistic engineering situations, enabling them to more effectively break down complex problems into manageable parts, and thus, become more effective engineering students and ultimately, professional engineers.  

 The authors do not compromise on rigor. Instead this series demonstrates the required rigor in the larger context of engineering work, decision making, problem solving, and understanding and impacting the man-made world. 

Related Resources

Chapter 1. Introduction.

Chapter 2. The Bicycle (""Static"" Doesn't Mean That You Aren't Moving).

Chapter 3. The Golden Gate Bridge.

Chapter 4. Forces.

Chapter 5. Moments.

Chapter 6. Drawing A Free-Body Diagram.

Chapter 7. Mechanical Equilibrium.

Chapter 8. Distributed Force.

Chapter 9. Internal Loads in Frames, Machines, and Trusses.

Chapter 10. ""Out on a Limb"" and ""Hung Out To Dry"": A Look at Internal Loads In Beams and Cables.

Appendix A.

A1. Selected topics in Mathematics.

A2. Physical Quantities.

A3. Properties of Areas and Volumes.

Appendix B. Dry Friction.

Appendix C. Moment of Inertia of Area.


Emphasis on sketching:  The importance of communicating solutions through graphics is continuously emphasized; focus on free body diagrams is a hallmark of this Statics and Dynamics series:
  • Chapter 1 discusses the importance of visualization and sketching skills in successful implementation of structured evaluation procedures, and provides some guidelines for sketching objects.
  • A full chapter, (Chapter 6) is devoted to drawing correct free body diagrams
  • An innovative illustration program uses engineering graph paper background and a ‘hand sketched’ look shows students how they themselves should be documenting their solutions and how to utilize hand sketching to illustrate a concept to an outside party.
  •  A ‘DRAW’ step included in every worked example reinforces the key skill of correctly drawing free body diagrams.

 Benefit: The strong and consistent emphasis on sketching promotes the importance of graphical information and communication in engineering, enabling students to consistently improve and build their sketching skills. This graphical element models engineering practice and is intended to be inviting for students. 

Analytical & structured problem solving procedures:  A consistent analysis procedure is introduced early in the text and used consistently throughout all worked examples.  Several key steps are emphasized more than in most other texts, including explicitly listing ‘ASSUMPTIONS’ made, and the importance of ‘DRAW’ and ‘CHECK’ as part of the solution. This approach is reinforced throughout -- unlike other texts’ more limited use of problem-solving techniques. Additionally, Sheppard & Tongue’s problem-solving procedures are specifically developed for application to all classes of engineering problems, rather than limiting the approach to specific problem classes.

 Benefit: Students’ problem-solving skills are constantly developed and reinforced. Students learn a problem-solving process that they can apply to any class of engineering problem throughout their academic studies and professional career.

Application of principles to engineering systems:  End-of-chapter ‘Systems Analysis’ exercises offer students the opportunity to apply mechanics principles to broader systems.  These exercises are more open-ended than those in other parts of the text, and sometimes have more than one ‘correct’ answer. 

 Benefit: Students have opportunities to show and understand how the principles in the text apply to analysis of ‘real’ artifacts.  The exercises also provide opportunities for group work, enhancing student motivation.

 Pedagogy: To facilitate speedy access to key content we have included review and study tools, such as Chapter Objectives at the start of each chapter, and a Just the Facts section at the end of each chapter that summarizes key terms, key equations, and key concepts from the chapter.  To the greatest extent possible, all in-text figures include descriptive figure captions that show at a glance what is being illustrated.  Key equations are highlighted in yellow, and key terms are bolded in blue when they first appear. 

 Benefit: Key concepts are reinforced throughout the text for students; easier navigation and clear labeling increases student comprehension and motivation.

 Unique, student-oriented writing approach: This text has been written with the student very explicitly in mind. Regarding writing style, the text speaks to those in the class who are trying to get their minds around the material – the students.  Sheppard uses a personalized, “one-on-one” approach, making the material very accessible for the student while maintaining rigor and focus.

 Benefit: Mechanics can sometimes be counter-intuitive, and can be a major frustration to those students who don’t immediately relate to the logic behind the material. Taking this new writing approach enables the student to more easily understand the material and increases motivation.

Use of ‘real-world case studies’ to motivate discussion of principles:  Chapters 2 and 3 of this volume contain two case studies that illustrate the application of statics principles in understanding how and why artifacts behave the way they do.  These two cases preview many of the key concepts in statics, concepts that are developed in detail in the subsequent chapters. 

 Benefit: The cases give a real-world feel and motivation for the study of mechanics.  The cases are revisited throughout the book in examples and homework problems for further reinforcement and consistency of approach.