, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 35-82

Euler-Lagrange Equations for Nonlinearly Elastic Rods with Self-Contact

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Abstract.

 We derive the Euler-Lagrange equations for nonlinearly elastic rods with self-contact. The excluded-volume constraint is formulated in terms of an upper bound on the global curvature of the centre line. This condition is shown to guarantee the global injectivity of the deformation of the elastic rod. Topological constraints such as a prescribed knot and link class to model knotting and supercoiling phenomena as observed, e.g., in DNA-molecules, are included by using the notion of isotopy and Gaussian linking number. The bound on the global curvature as a nonsmooth side condition requires the use of Clarke's generalized gradients to obtain the explicit structure of the contact forces, which appear naturally as Lagrange multipliers in the Euler-Lagrange equations. Transversality conditions are discussed and higher regularity for the strains, moments, the centre line and the directors is shown.

(Accepted December 20, 2002) Published online April 8, 2003
Communicated by S. S. Antman