Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World

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Princeton University Press, 2003 - Science - 580 pages
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Why do you shift from walking to running at a particular speed? How can we predict transition speeds for animals of different sizes? Why must the flexible elastic of arterial walls behave differently than a rubber tube or balloon? How do leaves manage to expose a broad expanse of surface while suffering only a small fraction of the drag of flags in high winds?

The field of biomechanics--how living things move and work--hasn't seen a new general textbook in more than two decades. Here a leading investigator and teacher lays out the key concepts of biomechanics using examples drawn from throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Up-to-date and comprehensive, this is also the only book to give thorough coverage to both major subfields of biomechanics: fluid and solid mechanics.

Steven Vogel explains how biomechanics makes use of models and methods drawn from physics and mechanical engineering to investigate a wide range of general questions--from how animals swim and fly and the modes of terrestrial locomotion to the way organisms respond to wind and water currents and the operation of circulatory and suspension-feeding systems. He looks also at the relationships between the properties of biological materials--spider silk, jellyfish jelly, muscle, and more--and their various structural and functional roles.

While written primarily for biology majors and graduate students in biology, this text will be useful for physical scientists and engineers seeking a sense of the state of the art of biomechanics and a guide to its rather scattered literature. For a still wider audience, it establishes the basic biological context for such applied areas as ergonomics, orthopedics, mechanical prosthetics, kinesiology, sports medicine, and biomimetics.

 

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Contents

Preambulations
3
Setting the Stage
19
Size and Scale
43
More Tools
65
Fluids
91
Gases and Liquids Fluids at Rest
93
Viscosity and the Patterns of Flow
117
The Forces of Flow
139
A Matter of Materials
301
Biological Materials Tuning Properties Properly
325
More Complex Materials Viscoelasticity
353
Simple Structures Beams Columns Shells
365
Less Simple Structural Matters
389
Hydrostatic Structures
407
Structural Systems
423
Achieving Motility
443

Fluid Events near Surfaces
165
Where Flows Are Inside
187
More about Circulatory Systems
205
Flows in Small Worlds
227
About Lift
245
Thrust for Flying and Swimming
267
Moving at the AirWater Interface
285
Solids and Structures
299
Using Muscle Tuning and Transmissions
463
Getting Around on Land
477
The Contexts of Biomechanics
495
Loose Ends and Perspectives
497
List of Symbols
519
References and Index of Citations
521
Subject Index
549
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Steven Vogel is James B. Duke Professor of Biology at Duke University. He is the author of "Vital Circuits, Cats' Paws and Catapults" and, from Princeton, "Life in Moving Fluids" and the prize-winning "Life's Devices".

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