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Mechanical Engineering (ME) Courses (2018-19)

Ae/Ge/ME 160 ab. Continuum Mechanics of Fluids and Solids. 9 units (3-0-6): first. Elements of Cartesian tensors. Configurations and motions of a body. Kinematics-study of deformations, rotations and stretches, polar decomposition. Lagrangian and Eulerian strain velocity and spin tensor fields. Irrotational motions, rigid motions. Kinetics-balance laws. Linear and angular momentum, force, traction stress. Cauchy's theorem, properties of Cauchy's stress. Equations of motion, equilibrium equations. Power theorem, nominal (Piola-Kirchoff) stress. Thermodynamics of bodies. Internal energy, heat flux, heat supply. Laws of thermodynamics, notions of entropy, absolute temperature. Entropy inequality (Clausius-Duhem). Examples of special classes of constitutive laws for materials without memory. Objective rates, corotational, convected rates. Principles of materials frame indifference. Examples: the isotropic Navier-Stokes fluid, the isotropic thermoelastic solid. Basics of finite differences, finite elements, and boundary integral methods, and their applications to continuum mechanics problems illustrating a variety of classes of constitutive laws. Instructor: Lapusta.
CE/ME/Ge 173. Mechanics of Soils. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Basic principles of stiffness, deformation, effective stress and strength of soils, including sands, clays and silts. Elements of soil behavior such as stress-strain-strength behavior of clays, effects of sample disturbance, anisotropy, and strain rate; strength and compression of granular soils; consolidation theory and settlement analysis; and critical state soil mechanics. Not offered 2018-19.
ME/CE/Ge 174. Mechanics of Rocks. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Basic principles of deformation, strength, and stressing of rocks. Elastic behavior, plasticity, viscoelasticity, viscoplasticity, creep, damage, friction, failure mechanisms, shear localization, and interaction of deformation processes with fluids. Engineering and geological applications. Instructor: Lapusta.
CE/Ge/ME 222. Earthquake Source Processes, Debris Flows, and Soil Liquefaction: Physics-based Modeling of Failure in Granular Media. 6 units (2-0-4): third term. A seminar-style course focusing on granular dynamics and instabilities as they relate to geophysical hazards such as fault mechanics, debris flows, and liquefaction. The course will consist of student-led presentations of active research at Caltech and discussions of recent literature. Not offered 2018-19.
Ae/AM/ME/Ge 225. Special Topics in Solid Mechanics. Units to be arranged: first, second, third terms. Subject matter changes depending on staff and student interest.
ME/Ge/Ae 266 ab. Dynamic Fracture and Frictional Faulting. 9 units (3-0-6): second, third terms. Introduction to elastodynamics and waves in solids. Dynamic fracture theory, energy concepts, cohesive zone models. Friction laws, nucleation of frictional instabilities, dynamic rupture of frictional interfaces. Radiation from moving cracks. Thermal effects during dynamic fracture and faulting. Crack branching and faulting along nonplanar interfaces. Related dynamic phenomena, such as adiabatic shear localization. Applications to engineering phenomena and physics and mechanics of earthquakes. Not offered 2018-19.