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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 2014 Vol.15 No.4 P.231-240


The renaissance of continuum mechanics*

Author(s):  Wei-qiu Chen

Affiliation(s):  . Department of Engineering Mechanics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China

Corresponding email(s):   chenwq@zju.edu.cn

Key Words:  Continuum mechanics, Quantum mechanics, Engineering, Current research activities, Renaissance

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Wei-qiu Chen. The renaissance of continuum mechanics[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science A, 2014, 15(4): 231-240.

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DOI - 10.1631/jzus.A1400079

continuum mechanics, just as the name implies, deals with the mechanics problems of all continua, whose physical (or mechanical) properties are assumed to vary continuously in the spaces they occupy. continuum mechanics may be seen as the symbol of modern mechanics, which differs greatly from current physics, the two often being mixed up by people and even scientists. In this short paper, I will first try to give an illustration on the differences between (modern) mechanics and physics, in my personal view, and then focus on some important current research activities in continuum mechanics, attempting to identify its path to the near future. We can see that continuum mechanics, while having a dominating impact on engineering design in the 20th century, also plays a pivotal role in modern science, and is much closer to physics, chemistry, biology, etc. than ever before.


概要:连续介质力学,正如其名称所喻示的,研究的是所有连续介质的力学问题。所谓连续介质,就是其宏观的物理或力学性质沿空间连续变化,而不必考虑各组成原子或分子的结构及其相互作用。连续介质力学可以看作是现代力学的标志,后者与现代物理学区别明显,但经常被大众甚至科学家所混淆。在此,首先从个人理解的角度阐述了现代力学与现代物理学的区别,特别指出现代力学与重大工程应用紧密相关,这从其新兴于二十世纪的三个分支学科——断裂力学、空气动力学和有限元的发展历史即可看出。然后,基于Web of Science的检索数据(见图1),清楚揭示了二十世纪五、六十年代是连续介质力学的形成期,七、八十年代是其平稳发展期,而从九十年代起至今就是其复兴期。最后,着重从三个方面展示了连续介质力学的复兴和新发展:在纳机电领域与量子力学的衔接,在能源等领域与化学的耦合,在生物学领域由生物力学向力生物学的转变。可以看到,正如其在二十世纪的工程设计中扮演了轴心角色一样,连续介质力学将通过学科交叉(与物理、化学、生物学、医学、信息科学、社会科学等)而在现代科学的版图中持续发挥重要作用。
关键词:连续介质力学, 量子力学, 工程, 研究现状, 复兴

Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


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