Virtual Displacement and Virtual Work

  • Reinhardt M. Rosenberg
Part of the Mathematical Concepts and Methods in Science and Engineering book series (MCSENG)


The central concepts permitting the extension of mechanics from the Newtonian point of view to the Lagrangean are the notions of virtual displacement and of virtual work. These concepts were formulated early in the development of mechanics insofar as their application to statics is concerned. Johann Bernoulli (1667–1748) discovered them (1717) for the case of holonomic configuration constraints, and Gabriel Fourier extended them in 1798 to inequality constraints.


Tangent Plane Virtual Work Fundamental Equation Constraint Force Virtual Displacement 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhardt M. Rosenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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