Mechanics is a branch of science that studies the motion of bodies under the influence of forces, including the special case of a body at rest. Statics, which deals with forces acting on and in a body at rest; kinematics, which describes the various motions of a body or system of bodies; and kinetics, which tries to explain or predict the motion that will occur in a given condition, are the three branches of mechanics.
In materials science, characterization refers to the broad and generic process of exploring and measuring a material's structure and properties. It is a crucial step in the field of materials science, without which no scientific understanding of engineering materials can be achieved. While many characterization techniques, such as basic optical microscopy, have been used for decades, new techniques and procedures are continually being developed.