Page:The Kinematics of Machinery.djvu/58
KINEMATICS OF MACHINERY
While the science of Mechanics examines motion caused in the most general cases by the action of mechanical forces, Machine-mechanics occupies itself with certain special cases only, with motions produced by a limited circle of means. It draws its first laws from the same fountain as Mechanics, to which, as the more comprehensive science, it is subordinate. But the region which it specially concerns can be separated from the science as a whole, and its function is to create systematic order within this separate region, and to investigate the laws specially belonging to it. Here is work enough, challenging some one to undertake it. It is greatly to be wished that those who are familiar with machine-design should not leave these investigations entirely to others, as has of late years often been the case with us, and still more in France. It is this that has caused what I have already alluded to as the volatilisation, the thinning away, of the problem,—a method of treatment from which practical mechanists, upon whom the machine depends for its further development, and for whose benefit specially the investigations have been undertaken, turn away dissatisfied. They have the right to demand, within certain limits, complete concentration upon their special problems, and will not allow the question to be carried off into another region, where the solid ground seems to them to disappear without any counterbalancing advantages being gained.
The Science of Machines.
The scientific carrying-out in practice of the requirements covered by our definition of the machine has caused the rise of an extended apparatus of sciences in connection with the progressing development of Polytechnic instruction. From the foundation sciences of Mathematics and Physics three or four other sciences specially concerning the machine have separated themselves. Their common object is the elucidation of the causal-connection of machine phenomena. Together they have been happily enough called Practical Mechanics. I speak of them here as sciences without