Potential Energy

29 The potential of external work W in an arbitrary system is defined as

where u are the displacements, b is the body force vector; t is the applied surface traction vector; r is that portion of the boundary where t is applied, and P are the applied nodal forces.

30 Note that the potential of the external work (W) is different from the external work itself (W)

31 The potential energy of a system is defined as n d= u - we

32 Note that in the potential the full load is always acting, and through the displacements of its points of application it does work but loses an equivalent amount of potential, this explains the negative sign.

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