Phelan, Richard M. Department of Mechanical Systems and Design, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A combination of rigid or resistant bodies having definite motions and capable of performing useful work. The term mechanism is closely related but applies only to the physical arrangement that provides for the definite motions of the parts of a machine. For example, a wristwatch is a mechanism, but it does no useful work and thus is not a machine. Machines vary widely in appearance, function, and complexity from the simple hand-operated paper punch to the ocean liner, which is itself composed of many simple and complex machines. No matter how complicated in appearance, every machine may be broken down into smaller and smaller assemblies, until an analysis of the operation becomes dependent upon an understanding of a few basic concepts, most of which come from elementary physics. See also: Mechanism; Simple machine
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information