Introduction: A Sketch of the History and Scope of the Field

  • Yuan-Cheng Fung


Biomechanics is mechanics applied to biology. The word “mechanics” was used by Galileo as a subtitle to his book Two New Sciences* (1638) to describe force, motion, and strength of materials. Through the years its meaning has been extended to cover the study of the motions of all kinds of particles and continua, including quanta, atoms, molecules, gases, liquids, solids, structures, stars, and galaxies. In a generalized sense it is applied to the analysis of any dynamic system. Thus thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, cybernetics, computing methods, etc., are considered proper provinces of mechanics. The biological world is a part of the physical world around us and naturally is an object of inquiry in mechanics.


Constitutive Equation Internal Pressure Achilles Tendon Circumferential Stress Principal Radius 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuan-Cheng Fung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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