We have divided the short reports about our current research projects into seven sections:
Because almost all projects are highly interdisciplinary, the classifications often are arbitrary. Therefore, some report titles appear on several pages.
Author: Mahir B. Sayir
Mechanics is a basic engineering discipline and contributes essentially to the time-lasting education of engineers. Throughout their rapidly developing careers, engineers make extensive use of the analytical and synthetical skills they acquire in mechanics courses.
In the process of modeling reality in mechanics, we deal with a four-fold translation which is common to all physical disciplines.
Figure 1: Physical reality: Impact of a steel ball on a glass plate
First, physical reality (Figure 1) is expressed in terms of physical models with conveniently chosen concepts (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Physical model during impact
Then a mathematical theory is developed which allows the mapping of the physical model into the mathematical domain (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Mathematical theory
The application of specific mathematical techniques leads to qualitative and quantitative results which must be translated into physical terms and interpreted to deliver predictions about the behaviour of the physical objects (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Quantitative physical predictions
These predictions are then properly translated into the real physical world and compared with the results obtained in appropriate experiments (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Comparing with "reality"
Throughout the four-fold translation process extremely valuable analytical and synthetical skills enhancing the creativity of future engineers are developed. The work leading to a sound theory and the design of meaningful experiments require clear and transparent conceptual structures, thorough understanding of physical and mathematical relations, creativity and inventiveness at all levels. The experimental work establishes also connections to a variety of fields such as electronics, computer science, materials, biology, chemistry. The following pages will show that our Institute is active in all phases of the four-fold translation.