1 INTRODUCTION Mechanics is the science of force and motion of matter. Solid mechanics is the science of force and motion of matter in the solid state. Physicists are of course interested in mechanics. The greatest advances in physics in the twentieth century are identified with mechanics: the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics. Chemists are interested in the mechanics of chemical reaction, the formation of molecular aggre- gates, the formation of crystals, or the creation of new materials with de- sirable properties, or polymerization of larger molecules, etc. Biologists are interested in biomechanics that relates structure to function at all hierar- chical levels: from biomolecules to cells, tissues, organs, and individuals. Although a living cell is not a homogeneous continuum, it is a protein ma- chine, a protein factory, with internal machinery that moves and functions in an orderly way according to the laws of mechanics. Therefore, all scien-
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