# The Difference Between Shear Stress and Shear Strain: Understand the Basics

## What is the difference between shear stress and shear strain?

For a small stress, the relation between stress and strain is linear. Shear strain is the deformation of an object or medium under shear stress. The shear modulus is the elastic modulus in this case. Shear stress is caused by forces acting along the object's two parallel surfaces.

## Final Answer:

The difference between shear stress and shear strain is that shear stress is the applied force per unit area (N/m²), while shear strain is the ratio of deformation to original size, which is dimensionless.

**Explanation:** The difference between shear stress and shear strain lies in their definitions and measurements. Shear stress is the force per unit area, denoted by the symbol F/A where F is the shearing force and A is the area over which it is applied. Measured in Newtons per square meter (N/m²), it is caused by forces acting parallel to the surface of the material.

On the other hand, shear strain describes the deformation of a material in response to the applied shear stress. It is defined as the ratio of the change in shape to the original shape symbolized as Δx/Lo. Shear strain is a dimensionless quantity as it represents a fractional change in geometry.

While shear stress quantifies the amount of force causing the deformation, shear strain quantifies the extent of the deformation itself. Deformation from shear stress occurs without any changes to the material's volume; it represents a slippage along planes within the material.