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jkpennings

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I always thought that the principle of virtual work (PVW) is valid for all structures, including

**continuous**structures (like bars, beams, plates, etc.). However, in his book 'Fundamentals of Structural Mechanics', Hjelmstad states that the PVW is only valid for**discrete systems**with**N particles**, and that for using the PVW for continuous systems, an approximation like Ritz' method should be used, see attachment. I actually do not understand what Hjelmstad means in this text. Can you please help? I'm really confused right now...