Chapter 7 Numerical Methods

7.1 Introduction

In this chapter we discuss the finite difference and finite element approaches to the solution of problems in elasticity and the mechanics of materials. The use of these numerical methods enables the engineer to expand his or her ability to solve practical design problems. The engineer may now treat real shapes as distinct from the somewhat limited variety of shapes amenable to simple analytic solution. Similarly, the engineer need no longer force a complex loading system to fit a more regular load configuration to conform to the dictates of a purely academic situation. Numerical analysis thus provides a tool with which the engineer may feel freer to undertake the solution of problems as they are ...

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