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Elastic Solids Vol.1 Math

Elastic Solids Vol.1 Math

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Published by Emanuel Sena

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Published by: Emanuel Sena on Jul 26, 2011
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Certain physical principles are described to us in terms of equations that hold on an arbitrary

portion of a body, i.e. in terms of an integral over a subregion D of R. It is often useful

to derive an equivalent statement of such a principle in terms of equations that must hold

at each point x in the body. In what follows, we shall frequently have need to do this, i.e.

convert a “global principle” to an equivalent “local field equation”.

Consider for example the scalar field φ(x) that is defined and continuous at all x

R+ R and suppose that


φ(x) dV = 0 for all subregions D⊂ R.


We will show that this “global principle” is equivalent to the “local field equation”

φ(x) = 0 at every point xR.



B (z)


Figure 5.1: The region R, a subregion D and a neighborhood B (z) of the point z.

We will prove this by contradiction. Suppose that (5.14) does not hold. This implies that

there is a point, say z ∈ R, at which φ(z) = 0. Suppose that φ is positive at this point:

φ(z) > 0. Since we are told that φ is continuous, φ is necessarily (strictly) positive in some

neighborhood of z as well. Let B (z) be a sphere with its center at z and radius > 0. We

can always choose sufficiently small so that B (z) is a sufficiently small neighborhood of z


φ(x) > 0 at all xB (z).


Now pick a region D which is a subset of B (z). Then φ(x) > 0 for all x∈D. Integrating φ

over this D gives


φ(x) dV > 0


thus contradicting (5.13). An entirely analogous calculation can be carried out in the case

φ(z) < 0. Thus our starting assumption must be false and (5.14) must hold.



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