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Principles of minimum potential energy and Rayleigh-Ritz

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Prof. Suvranu De

Principles of minimum

potential energy and

Rayleigh-Ritz

Reading assignment:

Section 2.6 + Lecture notes

Summary:

Potential energy of a system

Elastic bar

String in tension

Principle of Minimum Potential Energy

Rayleigh-Ritz Principle

A generic problem in 1D

d 2u

x 0;

0 x 1

2

dx

u 0 at x 0

u 1 at x 1

Guess u ( x) a0 o ( x) a11 ( x) a 2 2 ( x) ...

Where jo(x), j1(x), are known functions and ao, a1, etc are

constants chosen such that the approximate solution

1. Satisfies the boundary conditions

2. Satisfies the differential equation

Too difficult to satisfy for general problems!!

Potential energy

F

k

F

u

u = deflection of the spring

k = stiffness of the spring

Hookes Law

F = ku

dU

for a small change in displacement

(du) of the spring

dU Fdu

u u+du

dU kudu

The total strain energy of the spring

1

k u du k u 2

2

dU

dU Fdu

The total strain energy of the spring

u u+du

u

0

W Fu

x

k

F

k

1 2

ku Fu

2

Example of how to obtain the equlibr

k2

k1

F

x

d1x

d 2x

d 3x

For this system of spring, first write down the total potential

energy of the system as:

system

1

1

2

k1 (d 2 x ) k 2 (d 3 x d 2 x ) 2 Fd 3x

2

2

system

d 2 x

system

d 3 x

k1d 2 x k 2 (d 3 x d 2 x ) 0

Equation (1)

k 2 (d 3 x d 2 x ) F 0

Equation (2)

In matrix form, equations 1 and 2 look like

k 1 k 2

k

2

k 2 d 2 x 0

k 2 d 3 x F

Also look at example problem worked out in class

y

F

x

x=L

x=0

b(x) = body force distribution

(force per unit length)

x E(x) = Youngs modulus

u(x) = displacement of the bar

at x

du

dx

du

Axial stress E E

dx

Axial strain

1

1 du

dU

E

Strain energy per unit volume of the bar

2

2 dx

U dU

L 1

1

dV

Adx

x

0

2

2

since dV=Adx

Strain energy of the bar

U

1

1 L

du

A dx EA dx

2

2 0

dx

L

W bu dx Fu(x L)

0

2

L

1 L

du

EA dx bu dx Fu(x L)

0

2 0

dx

Among all admissible displacements that a body can have, the one

that minimizes the total potential energy of the body satisfies the

strong formulation

Admissible displacements: these are any reasonable displacement

that you can think of that satisfy the displacement boundary

conditions of the original problem (and of course certain minimum

continuity requirements). Example:

Any other admissible

displacement field w(x)

Exact solution for the

displacement field uexact(x)

0

Lets see what this means for an axially loaded elastic bar

y

F

b(x) = body force distribution

(force per unit length)

x E(x) = Youngs modulus

x

x=L

x=0

exact solution uexact(x)

2

L

1

du exact

(u exact ) EA

dx bu exact dx Fu exact (x L)

0

2 0

dx

L

admissible displacement w(x)

2

L

1

dw

(w) EA

dx bw dx Fw(x L)

0

2 0

dx

L

displacement field w(x)

Exact solution for the

displacement field uexact(x)

0

Example:

d 2u

AE 2 b 0;

0xL

dx

u 0 at x 0

du

EA

F at x L

dx

Analytical solution is

uexact

x2

2x

2

2

1

1 du exact

7

(u exact )

dx u exact dx u exact (x 1)

0

2 0 dx

6

1

w x

quite arbitrary. But, it satisfies the given displacement boundary

condition w(x=0)=0. Also, its first derivate does not blow up.

Potential energy corresponding to this admissible displacement

2

1

1 dw

(w)

dx 0 w dx w(x 1) 1

0

2 dx

1

Notice

7

since 1

6

(u exact ) (w)

Among all admissible displacements that a body can have, the one

that minimizes the total potential energy of the body satisfies the

strong formulation

Mathematical statement: If uexact is the exact solution (which

satisfies the differential equation together with the boundary

conditions), and w is an admissible displacement (that is quite

arbitrary except for the fact that it satisfies the displacement

boundary conditions and its first derivative does not blow up),

then

(u exact ) (w)

energy)

formulation are exactly equivalent statements of the same

problem.

The exact solution (uexact) that satisfies the strong form, renders

the potential energy of the system a minimum.

So, why use the Principle of Minimum Potential Energy?

The short answer is that it is much less demanding than the strong

formulation. The long answer is, it

1. requires only the first derivative to be finite

2. incorporates the force boundary condition automatically. The

admissible displacement (which is the function that you need to

choose) needs to satisfy only the displacement boundary condition

strong formulation, but the Principle of Minimum Potential

Energy.

Task is to find the function w that minimizes the potential energy

of the system

2

L

1

dw

(w) EA

dx 0 bw dx Fw(x L)

0

2

dx

L

is the exact solution.

Rayleigh-Ritz Principle

The minimization of the potential energy is difficult to perform

exactly.

The Rayleigh-Ritz principle is an approximate way of doing this.

Step 1. Assume a solution

w( x) a 0 o ( x ) a11 ( x) a 2 2 ( x) ...

etc are constants to be determined from the solution.

Rayleigh-Ritz Principle

2

L

1

dw

(w) EA

dx 0 bw dx Fw(x L)

0

2

dx

L

d1

1

d 0

(a 0 , a 1 ,...) EA a 0

a1

... dx

0

2

dx

dx

b a 0 0 a11 ... dx

0

F a 0 0 ( x L) a11 ( x L) ...

Rayleigh-Ritz Principle

(w)

0, i 0,1,2,...

ai

The approximate solution is

u ( x) a 0 o ( x) a11 ( x) a 2 2 ( x) ...

F

E=A=1

F=2

x=1

x=0

x=2

2

1 du

(u) dx Fu(x 1)

0 dx

2

Potential Energy

2

Strain Energy

of load F applied

at x 1

u a0 a1 x a2 x 2

Note that this is NOT the analytical solution for this problem.

For this admissible displacement to satisfy the displacement

boundary conditions the following conditions must be satisfied:

u(x 0) a0 0

u(x 2) a0 2a1 4a2 0

Hence, we obtain

a0 0

a1 2a2

Hence, the admissible displacement simplifies to

u a0 a1 x a2 x 2

a2 2 x x 2

this approximation into the expression for the potential energy , I

can obtain the unknown (in this case a2) by minimizing

2

1 du

(u) dx Fu(x 1)

2 0 dx

2

1 d

a2 2 x x 2 dx F a2 2 x x 2

2 0 dx

4 2

a 2 2 a2

3

2

0

a2

8

a2 2 0

3

3

a2

4

evaluated

at x 1

Rayleigh-Ritz principle is

u a0 a1 x a2 x 2

a2 2 x x 2

3

2x x2

4

Notice that the exact answer to this problem (can you prove this?) is

u exact

x for 0 x 1

2 x for 1 x 2

Exact solution

1

Approximate

solution

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

x

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

1.5

Exact Stress

Stress

0.5

Approximate

stress

-0.5

-1

-1.5

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

x

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

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