The mechanics (from Latin Mechanica, the machine on ) is in the natural sciences and art, the doctrine of the motion of bodies and the forces acting here. It is a branch of physics and the historical origin of all other physical and technical disciplines. In theoretical physics, the term is often used abbreviation for classical mechanics, which deals with the mathematical and theoretical foundations of mechanics. In the engineering sciences, however, the term is often used abbreviation for the technical mechanics.


The mechanics can be roughly divided into several sub- areas: The kinematics deals with definitions of time, location, speed and acceleration with the motion of bodies in space and time. The dynamics extends the description of the movements by the mass and the acting forces. The dynamics may in turn ( forces are in equilibrium ) and the kinetics can be divided into statics (forces not in equilibrium ).

Many modern physical theories have their origins in mechanics, but usually do not count as part of this area. For very high speeds or very large masses of the mechanics to the special and the general theory of relativity must be extended. For very small particles, the mechanics is generalized to quantum mechanics. Both the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics include classical mechanics as a special case. For the exact historical development, see History of Physics.

In addition, special branches of mechanics regarding the grundlgenden properties of the considered body can be demarcated:

  • Rigid body mechanics - mass points and deformable body
  • Continuum Mechanics - continuously extended, deformable body, with the division: Elastomechanics - elastic deformations
  • Plastomechanics - plastic deformations
  • Fluid Mechanics - liquids, gases and plasmas