1.1 Problem Definition
The finite element method is capable of producing accurate approximate solutions for a wide variety of differential equations. The domain of the problem is broken into a finite number of geometrically simple subdivisions. These subdivisions, known as finite elements, are shown in Fig. 1.1. The exact solution is approximated on an individual element by low-order polynomial interpolation functions that attempt to represent the actual displacements that exist on the domain of the finite element.
Figure 1.1. A finite element mesh.
Errors are produced by the finite element model when the low-order ...