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Mechanical engineering

The meaning of «mechanical engineering»

Mechanical engineering is an engineering branch that combines engineering physics and mathematics principles with materials science to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems.[1] It is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering branches.

The mechanical engineering field requires an understanding of core areas including mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. In addition to these core principles, mechanical engineers use tools such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices, weapons, and others. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery.[2][3]

Mechanical engineering emerged as a field during the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 18th century; however, its development can be traced back several thousand years around the world. In the 19th century, developments in physics led to the development of mechanical engineering science. The field has continually evolved to incorporate advancements; today mechanical engineers are pursuing developments in such areas as composites, mechatronics, and nanotechnology. It also overlaps with aerospace engineering, metallurgical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, and other engineering disciplines to varying amounts. Mechanical engineers may also work in the field of biomedical engineering, specifically with biomechanics, transport phenomena, biomechatronics, bionanotechnology, and modelling of biological systems.

The application of mechanical engineering can be seen in the archives of various ancient and medieval societies. The six classic simple machines were known in the ancient Near East. The wedge and the inclined plane (ramp) were known since prehistoric times.[4] The wheel, along with the wheel and axle mechanism, was invented in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) during the 5th millennium BC.[5] The lever mechanism first appeared around 5,000 years ago in the Near East, where it was used in a simple balance scale,[6] and to move large objects in ancient Egyptian technology.[7] The lever was also used in the shadoof water-lifting device, the first crane machine, which appeared in Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC.[6] The earliest evidence of pulleys date back to Mesopotamia in the early 2nd millennium BC.[8]

The Sakia was developed in the Kingdom of Kush during the 4th century BC. It relied on animal power reducing the tow on the requirement of human energy.[9] Reservoirs in the form of Hafirs were developed in Kush to store water and boost irrigation.[10] Bloomeries and blast furnaces were developed during the seventh century BC in Meroe.[11][12][13][14] Kushite sundials applied mathematics in the form of advanced trigonometry.[15][16]

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