This book focuses on qualitative theories in structural mechanics, an area that remains underdeveloped. Qualitative theories mainly deal with the static deformation and vibrational modes of linear elastic structures, and cover subjects such as qualitative properties and the existence of solutions.
Qualitative properties belong to one type of structure, are of a general nature and at the system level, and often result from analytical derivation. In comparison, the existence of a solution addresses a fundamental issue in structural mechanics, and has far-reaching implications for engineering applications.
A better understanding of qualitative properties can assist in both numerical computation and experimental studies. It also promotes the development of better dynamic designs for structures. At the same time, a sound grasp of the existence of solutions and related subjects can aid in quantitative analysis, and help researchers establish the theoretical background essential to their work.
This is the first book dedicated exclusively to qualitative theories of structural mechanics, and the first to systematically introduce the important and challenging area to a wide audience, including graduate engineering students.