5R20. Systems Dynamics and Mechanical Vibrations: An Introduction. - D Findeisen (Dept 11 Mech Eng and Prod Tech, Inst of Machine Des, Tech Univ, Strasse des 17 Juni 135, Berlin, 10623, Germany). Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 2000. 383 pp. ISBN 3-540-67144-7. $99.00.

Reviewed by K Popp (Inst of Mech, Univ of Hannover, Appelstr 11, Hannover, D-30167, Germany).

The preface says this book is intended to be a professional reference book, but it should also prove suitable as a textbook for courses ranging from the junior level to the senior level. The author is head of the Institute of Machine Design at the Technical University of Berlin. He describes the aim of the book as to give practicing designers, engineers, and students of mechanical engineering a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of system dynamics. The author believes that the three subjects—rigid-body dynamics, vibrations, and control—belong together, and thus he tries to give an integrated basis of system dynamics and vibrations.

The book comprises five chapters and three appendices. It has good quality figures, a well structured index, and 125 references for further reading. Chapter 1 introduces the subject of system modeling and presents a general classification of physical quantities (per- and transvariables or through and across variables), following the famous book by MacFarlane on Engineering Systems Analysis (1964). The next two chapters are due to the system representation by diagrams and equations, respectively. In Chapter 2, significant types of systematic diagrams which apply to both electrical circuits and dynamics of control are presented to demonstrate their use for creating mechanical model systems (mechanical circuits). Chapter 3 provides mathematical relations between the system variables of interacting mechanical subsystems. Emphasis is laid on phasor response analysis, Fourier series analysis as well as Fourier- and Laplace-transform techniques. The chapter is concluded by a comparison of both integral transforms. In Chapter 4, frequency-response analysis comes into focus. Here, the concepts of mobility and dynamic compliance are introduced and worked out in detail. Chapter 5 treats the flow of power and energy in systems. The power transmission through linear two ports as well as mechanical networks is investigated in detail. The three appendices that conclude the book show graphs of time-history curves, usual frequency response plots and frequency response plots of power.

System Dynamics and Mechanical Vibrations is restricted to linear systems. In this reviewer’s opinion, the most beneficial aspect is the interdisciplinary approach, common in control engineering. It starts with the classification of variables that can help to solve interdisciplinary mechatronic problems. However, there are also many drawbacks. The reader will miss modern analysis and control techniques using the state space approach as well as progressive matrix methods, the use of today’s computer tools for solving problems, consideration of large multi-degree-of-freedom systems or systems with distributed parameters, applications of modal-transform techniques, etc. Maybe the most severe drawback is that the book does not contain any examples, exercises, or problem with solutions. Thus, in summary, this reviewer cannot recommend this book as a textbook for students. But Systems Dynamics and Mechanical Vibrations: An Introduction can serve as a reference for interested readers, so it may find a place in libraries.