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Jul 12, 2011 by katrina
What is the Difference between Stress and Strain?
Physics is one field in science that puts emphasis on physical matter and its movement through the existing space. As one branch in science, such subject can be further broken into its specifics. While it follows the same scientific process that is being followed and utilized in the various fields of science, physics is one distinct field since it is considered to be a dynamic area as it can be applied to many various circumstances and settings. Two topics included in the study of physics are stress and strain. Though the common language defines such words by their usual definitions, such terms mean differently in the field of physics.
In physics, stress is one term that denotes a quantitative technique in measuring the amount of force contained within an object. Stress is basically computed by following the established formula of the given force divided by the area the object has.
Strain, on the other hand, is used to connote an alteration in the shape or form of an object basically due to the presence of stress imposed on the object.
These two terms obviously differ by use. While stress is one quantitative form that has the capacity to obtain a finite measure of things, strain is a unitless concept. In this light, it can be further implied that stress obtains a specific unit of measure whereas strain needs no measurements to be done or performed.
Aside from that, stress differs from strain in the sense that stress is highly dependent on the presence of force and area while strain occurs only when significant amount of stress is applied.
Although such topics are quite confusing at the first glance, concepts on stress and strain can be fully comprehended once the basic concepts of physics are employed.
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