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Differentiating potential energies

  1. Jan 18, 2008 #1
    I've read a paper titled "A Versatile and Robust Model for Geometrically Complex Deformable Solids"

    Can someone familiar with numerical computations and mechanics help me understand this paper?

    A deformable body is discretized in tetrahedron elements.

    In equation (2), the force for a mass point is a derivative of its potential energy:

    F = -k*C*[tex]\frac{\partial C}{ \partial p _{i}}[/tex]

    where k is the stiffness coefficient and C is the potential energy.

    I am not sure how the force of a mass point [tex]p_{i}[/tex]
    can be computed. What does it mean by differentiating with respect to a point [tex] p_{i}[/tex]?
  2. jcsd
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