9R1. Principles of Solid Mechanics. - R Richards Jr (SUNY, Buffalo NY). CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton FL. 2001. 446 pp. ISBN 0-8493-0114-9. $89.95.

Reviewed by J-C Roegiers (Rock Mech Inst, Univ of Oklahoma, Sarkeys Energy Center, Ste P119C, 100 E Boyd, Norman OK 73019-0628).

This book should be considered somehow as a compilation of Prof Richards’ notes accumulated over his extensive academic experience. It constitutes an excellent text as well as reference book, for seniors as well as graduate students.

The book covers many aspects of the mechanics of deformable solids, starting from fundamental concepts, taking the reader step-by-step to more complex and interesting applications. The subject index is clear and the figures, drawn by hand, are of good quality and bring back—for some of us—the nostalgia of the past. The only negative comment stems from the fact that, with the exception of the Preface and some footnotes, no systematic references are included at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. This is unfortunate as the curiosity of the reader is often challenged by the text, but his desire to pursue further details is constrained. This reviewer also recommends that the author provides an additional solution manual for the multitude of interesting and judiciously selected problems included at the end of each chapter, encouraging self-study.

The first three chapters (Introduction, Strain and Stress, Stress-strain Relationship) cover well-established fundamentals; they constitute somehow the building blocks for the remainder of the book. The author reviews here first-order concepts with the theoretical rigor required for the reader to fully appreciate the implied assumptions and limitations. Chapter 4 (Strategies for Elastic Analysis and Design) starts to introduce engineering applications and stresses the importance of graphic visualization in tackling inverse problems. The author also discusses in some detail the importance of existence and uniqueness, as well as the assumed boundary conditions. For the sake of completeness, the extension to 3D could have been mentioned, at least via a few example problems.

Chapters 5 through 9 review different geometries and situations in a very orderly fashion. The presentation of the various subjects is extremely clear and allows researchers to quickly locate the appropriate formulas. On a regular basis, the author provides some additional non-traditional insights into solutions of complex problems. Chapters 10 and 11 introduce the reader to fundamental plasticity concepts, attempting to unify this approach to previously covered elasticity. He also discusses, in some detail, the inverse strategies for optimum design. Finally, in Chapter 12, he reviews the concept of slip lines and proposes to extend this geomaterials’ approach to steel and concrete. He also compares this approach to other existing solutions.

In summary, this reviewer recommends this captivating book, Principles of Solid Mechanics, both for individuals as well as libraries. Its style makes it pleasant to read. The included problems often extend the content of the book by addressing additional or even unsolved situations. Finally, the footnotes often provide the reader with candid comments and refreshing anecdotes.