Continuum mechanics is a branch of mechanics that deals with the analysis of the kinematics and the mechanical behavior of materials modeled as a continuous mass rather than as discrete particles.

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Why aren't the lengths of the bars on a toy glockenspiel proportional to the wavelengths?

As you might already know, frequency of musical notes is arranged in a such a way that if, for example, an A note has frequency of $x$, another A note which is placed one octave higher would produce ...
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Why can't a piece of paper (of non-zero thickness) be folded more than $N$ times?

Updated: In order to fold anything in half, it must be $\pi$ times longer than its thickness, and that depending on how something is folded, the amount its length decreases with each fold differs. ...
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416 views

Momentum of transverse waves on a string

In general, if a wave carries energy density $u$ with velocity $v$, it also carries momentum density $u/v$. I've seen this explicitly shown for electromagnetic waves and (longitudinal) sound waves. ...
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Rotate a long bar in space and get close to (or even beyond) the speed of light $c$

Imagine a bar spinning like a helicopter propeller, At $\omega$ rad/s because the extremes of the bar goes at speed $$V = \omega * r$$ then we can reach near $c$ (speed of light) applying some ...
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Symmetry of the $3\times 3$ Cauchy Stress Tensor

When presenting the stress tensor (say in a non-relativistic context), it is shown to be a tensor in the sense that it is a linear vector transformation: it operates on a vector $n$ (the normal to a ...
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857 views

Can a building get taller at night?

UberFacts recently tweeted "Office buildings are taller at night—a 1,300-foot-tall skyscraper shrinks about 1.5 millimeters under the weight of 50,000 occupants." Is what they are saying valid? It ...
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Conservation Vs Non-conservation Forms of conservation Equations

I understand mathematically how one can obtain the conservation equations in both the conservative $${\partial\rho\over\partial t}+\nabla\cdot(\rho \textbf{u})=0$$ $${\partial\rho{\textbf{u}}\over\...
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514 views

Continuum limit for solid mechanics

Is there a rigorous derivation of the limits for continuum properties in solid mechanics? For instance, the stress-strain relationship may be linear for large samples (the slope being the Young's ...
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water flow in a sink

When one turns on the tap in the kitchen, a circle is observable in the water flowing in the sink. The circle is the boundary between laminar and turbulent flow of the water (maybe this is the wrong ...
8
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290 views

Shape of wall's deformation wave caused by baseball's impact

Clicking through this year's top sports pictures, I stumbled upon this one. I was wondering about the shape the baseball is leaving on the wall. What phenomenon causes this peculiar shape? Why is ...
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1answer
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What is Relativistic Navier-Stokes Equation Through Einstein Notation?

Navier-Stokes equation is non-relativistic, what is relativistic Navier-Stokes equation through Einstein notation?
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299 views

How wide does a wall of ice need to be to stay in place?

Let us say that we have unlimited manpower to construct a huge wall of water ice e.g. 200 m tall (700 feet). -and that the wall is placed in a climate, where the temperature never (for your purpose) ...
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475 views

Why are stresses of continuum systems described via a tensor?

The tittle pretty much says enough. I have always been told so but no one really motivated it. So, I would like to know why do we use a tensor to describe the stresses in continuum mechanics.
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Why are Navier-Stokes equations needed?

Can't we picture air or water molecules individually? Then, why are Navier-Stokes equations needed, after all? Can't we just aggregate individual ones? Or is it computationally difficult, or ...
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Modern references for continuum mechanics

I'm wondering what some standard, modern references might be for continuum mechanics. I imagine most references are probably more used by mechanical engineers than physicists but it's still a ...
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171 views

Objective time derivative that is not a Lie derivative

Summary Led by an interest into the concept of "Material Objectivity", I am asking myself: Are there objective time rates that are not Lie derivatives? The long read I am trying to understand the ...
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1answer
120 views

Metric of following spacetime and refractive index

Let's have metrics $$ ds^{2} = f(\mathbf r)dt^{2} - h(\mathbf r )\delta_{ij}dx^{i}dx^{j}. $$ Hot to show that motion of light in spacetime with this metrics is equal to motion in continuous media with ...
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3answers
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Why is the (nonrelativistic) stress tensor linear and symmetric?

From wikipedia: "...the stress vector $T$ across a surface will always be a linear function of the surface's normal vector $n$, the unit-length vector that is perpendicular to it. ...The linear ...
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Particles scattering on fluids: breakdown of the effective continuum description

When does the macroscopic continuum description of a medium like a fluid break down? Say I'm interested in a scattering process of some particles with momentum $p$ and energy $E$ off a fluid of ...
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1answer
449 views

Relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation

What exactly is the relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation? Suppose $J^\mu$ is a contravariant vector that satisfies the continuity equation $\partial_\mu J^\mu=0$. Let $J^...
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Tensorial version of Hooke's law

It is well known that $${\boldsymbol F} = k {\boldsymbol x}$$ for isotropic media. Also, according to Wikipedia $$F_k = k_{jk} x_j$$ for some elastic tensor $k_{jk}$. I'm a bit confused as to how ...
5
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0answers
710 views

Interpretation of Stiffness Matrix and Mass Matrix in Finite Element Method

I would like to have a general interpretation of the coefficients of the stiffness matrix that appears in FEM. For instance if we are solving a linear elasticity problem and we modelize the relation ...
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2answers
989 views

Why are continuum fluid mechanics accurate when constituents are discrete objects of finite size?

Suppose we view fluids classically, i.e., as a collection of molecules (with some finite size) interacting via e&m and gravitational forces. Presumably we model fluids as continuous objects that ...
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198 views

Standing wave on a rope fixed at both sides: minus sign in the reflected wave

I'm studying stationary waves on a rope fixed at both sides. In some books I find that the wave function studied is the sum of incident wave $\xi_1(x,t)$ and of the reflected wave $\xi_2(x,t)$. $$\xi(...
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1answer
345 views

Normal modes of a flexible rod clamped at only one point

I am interested in the vibrations of a thin, flexible rod that would only be clamped at one point, properly I'd like to calculate its eigenvalue. But the way I learned it in wave mechanics doesn't ...
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507 views

Why plane stress condition is taken for thin plates

Why plane stress is taken for thin plates? It says in the books that the stress variation is small for thin components and is close to zero. Why is that so? Also why stress at free surface is zero? (...
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Stress tensor in a cube with shear forces

I want to calculate stress matrix in a cube with two faces parallel to x axis and perpendicular to z axis (sorry I don't know how can I put a picture in this post). There are two force uniform ...
4
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1answer
288 views

Can Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) be used to simulate porous media flow and deformation?

I am trying to use Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) to study fluid flow in and around porous media. The aim is to observe how it causes erosion and failure. For this, from my understanding, there ...
4
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1answer
265 views

(Botanical) branch bending under gravity

I'm a PhD student in maths, and attended my last physics class some 15 years ago, so you can imagine my competences in the field. My supervisor (also not a mechanist) cant tell me how to proceed ...
4
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1answer
824 views

A conceptual problem with Euler-Bernoulli beam theory and Euler buckling

Euler-Bernoulli beam theory states that in static conditions the deflection $w(x)$ of a beam relative to its axis $x$ satisfies $$EI\frac{\partial^4}{\partial x^4}w(x)=q(x)\ \ \ \ (1)$$ where $E$ is ...
4
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1answer
368 views

Does a thermally expanding torus experience internal stress?

I'm trying to learn continuum mechanics and thermo-mechanics. As we know, heating an object increases the mean atomic distance $a_0$ of the atoms in a rigid body. Let's assume it is a linear elastic ...
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1answer
2k views

Good books on elasticity

Can someone suggest good books/textbooks/treatises/etc on elasticity?
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Parabola or Catenary in this case?

Exhibit A: the flexible film sinks into the box due to lower internal pressure inside the box. question is, does the film form a paraboloid or a 3D catenary or neither? this is the usual method used ...
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Does the definition of compressibility depend on the frame of reference?

According to many authors, a fluid is defined to be incompressible if the material derivative of the density $\frac{D\rho}{Dt}$ is zero, that is to say, that in an frame of reference following the ...
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300 views

Equations of motion of displacement field

We have an action: $$S[\boldsymbol{u}] = \frac{1}{2} \int dt \int d^3x \left\{ \mu (\frac{\partial u_{i}}{\partial t})^{2} - \nu (u_{ii})^{2} - \rho(u_{ij})^{2}\right\} $$ Where $u_{ij} = (\partial_{...
4
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1answer
203 views

What equation predicts at what point a stretched object comes apart?

I am creating a simulation and am interested in pulling stretchy things and when they break, like taffy. I imagine this is a bit tougher then a simple equation like gravity, but I have no idea. Is ...
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assumptions about sound waves

When deriving the sound wave equation: $${1 \over c^2} {\partial^2 p' \over \partial t^2 }= \Delta^2 p' $$ by linearizing the Euler equation: $$\rho {d v \over dt }= - \nabla p $$ and the continuity ...
3
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1answer
190 views

In continuum mechanics, why is the stress vector $T=\sigma\cdot n$ not a covector?

In continuum mechanics, the stress vector (see Cauchy stress tensor) $T=\sigma\cdot n$ is the surface density of a force. Forces are covectors, since they map a displacement vector to a scalar energy. ...
3
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285 views

origin of the major symmetry property of the elasticity tensor

In linear elasticity theory the stress tensor $\sigma$ is related to the strain tensor $\epsilon$ via the elastic tensor $C$. Specifically $$ \sigma_{ij} = C_{ijkl} \epsilon_{kl} $$ Because $\sigma$ ...
3
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321 views

Stress Force - Understanding Cauchy Stress Tensor

I've been trying to understand the derivation for the Cauchy Momentum Equation for so long now, and there is one part that every derivation glides over very quickly with practically no explanation (I'...
3
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3answers
416 views

Is it possible that Cauchy stress be asymmetric?

According to conservation of linear momentum and angular momentum, one can derive that Cauchy stress tensor is symmetric and hence has only 6 independent components. Is it possible that, when breaking ...
3
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3answers
292 views

Configuration space of particles in the box

The notion of entropy says that we can count microstates that correspond to macrostate. But, I do not understand how this can be done. Does it imply that the state space is discrete (finite or ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Free energy variations

In a paper, I found this: $\mathbf{h}=\mathbf{h}(\mathbf{r})$ is called molecular field and is defined as the variation field of the Frank free energy functional $F_{d}$ with respect to the ...
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342 views

Extension to continuous in proofs of rigid body mechanics

I'm studying rigid body mechanics and I've seen several proofs of properties related to total angular momentum, kinetic energy, etc. that all regard discrete set of points. For example, to show that ...
3
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1answer
109 views

References on wave solutions in continuum mechanics [closed]

I am interested in literature on known wave solutions in continnum mechanics, precisely the following mechanical equation: $$\rho\partial_t^2u_i = C_{ijkl}\nabla_j\nabla_ku_{l}$$ My interest is spread ...
3
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2answers
131 views

A problem of approximation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are continuum fluid mechanics accurate when constituents are discrete objects of finite size? When we apply differentiation on charge being conducted with respect to ...
3
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1answer
392 views

Explain $\rho_{0}\dot{e} - \bf{P}^{T} : \bf{\dot{F}}+\nabla_{0} \cdot \bf{q} -\rho_{0}S = 0$

I am trying to understand the balance of energy -law from continuum mechanics, fourth law here. Could someone break this a bit to help me understand it? From chemistry, I can recall $$dU = \partial Q +...
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1answer
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Traveling wave solutions for an irregular “waveguide”

I'm looking at solutions for the wave equation $$\frac{\partial^2 z}{\partial t^2}=c^2 \nabla^2z,$$ in a finite 2D domain. Say that I have periodic boundary conditions on the left and right edges ...
3
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155 views

Derivation of elastic energy per unit volume

So I basically asked this question a little while back and didn't get much help, but I really need help, so I'm coming back and asking again. Looking at the section on Continuum Systems on the ...
3
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What is the “discrete” analogue to “continuum” mechanics?

If I wanted to explore a discrete mathematics approach to continuum mechanics, what textbooks should I look into? I suppose a ready answer to the question might be: "computational continuum ...