Problems involving vibration occur in many areas of mechanical, civil and aerospace engineering: wave loading of offshore platforms, cabin noise in aircrafts, earthquake and wind loading of cable stayed bridges and high rise buildings, performance of machine tools — to pick only few examples. Human beings usually regard noise and vibration as uncomfortable. Beside this, an engineering structure can fail due to excessive vibration — the devastating effects of earthquakes on our society is a prime example of this fact. Due to this reasons over the years the aim of the vibration engineers has been to reduce vibration. In order to achieve this in an efficient and economic manner a good understanding of the physics of vibration phenomena in complex engineering structures is needed. In the last few decades, the sophistication of modern design methods together with the development of improved composite structural materials instilled a trend towards lighter structures. At the same time, there is also a constant demand for larger structures, capable of carrying more loads at higher speeds with minimum noise and vibration level as the safety/workability and environmental criteria become more stringent. Unfortunately, these two demands are conflicting and the problem cannot be solved without proper understanding of the vibration phenomena.
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