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A first step towards variational methods in engineering

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In this paper, a didactical proposal is presented to introduce the variational methods for solving boundary value problems to engineering students. Starting from a couple of simple models arising in linear elasticity and heat diffusion, the concept of weak solution for these models is motivated and the existence, uniqueness and continuous dependence on the initial data for these solutions are proved. Finally, the solutions of the above mentioned problems are numerically evaluated by the finite element method.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departamento de Matemática Aplicada y Estadística Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena C/ Paseo Alfonso XIII 30203 Cartagena Spain, Email:

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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