Finite-element technique for solving problems formulated by Hamilton's principle

S. Sorek, J. J. Blech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The finite element technique is applied to functional which govern dynamical problems, where time is an independent variable. The present paper demonstrates improved accuracy in mass-spring-damper systems and exemplifies "rendevous problems" of a "travelling" particle in a medium. The motion is governed by Hamilton's principle. The time interval is fixed. Functionals are constructed from Hamilton's extended principle and appropriate conditions stating the various constraints. Initial value problems may be incorporated by writing a functional in accordance with Gurtin's method. Shape functions are polynomials in time and can be extended to other spatial variables when present. As a result of a variation to the functional, a system of algebraic (not necessarily linear) equations is formed. This system is solved simultaneously to yield its motion within the boundaries of the given time interval.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-541
Number of pages9
JournalComputers and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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