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the internal stresses, provided the hypothetical displacements be such that none of the connexions of the system are violated. If the system be subject to gravity, the corresponding part of the virtual work can be calculated from the displacement of the centre of gravity. If W1, W2, . . . be the weights of a system of particles, whose depths below a fixed horizontal plane of reference are 21, 22, . ., respectively, the virtual work of gravity is

Wlazl + W26z1 '|- . . . = § (W1Z1 + Wzzg + . '. .) = (W1 -j' W2 + . . .)5§ ,

where 2 is the depth of the centre of gravity (see § 8 (14) and § rr (6)). This expression is the same as if the whole mass were concentrated at the centre of gravity, and displaced with this point. An important conclusion is that in any displacement of a system of bodies in equilibrium, such that the virtual work of all forces except gravity may be ignored, the depth of the centre of gravity is “ stationary.” The question as to stability of equilibrium belongs essentially to kinetics; but we may state by anticipation that in cases where gravity is the only force which does work, the equilibrium of a body or system of bodies is stable only if the depth of the centre of gravity be a maximum.

Consider, for instance, the case of a bar resting with its ends on two smooth inclines (fig. 18). If the bar be displaced in a vertical plane so that its ends slide on the two inclines, the instantaneous centre is at the point I. The displacement of G is at right angles to IG; this shows that for equilibrium IG must be vertical. Again, the locus of G is an arc of an ellipse whose centre is in the intersection of the planes; since this arc is convex upwards the equilibrium is unstable. A general criterion for the case of a rigid bod movable in two dimensions, with one degree of freedom, can be obtained as follows. We have seen (§ 3) that the sequence of possible positions is obtained if we imagine the “ body-centrode " to roll on the “ space cent rode." For equilibrium, the altitude of the centre of gravity G must be stationary; hence G must lie in the same vertical line with the point of contact I of the two curves. Further, it is known from the theory of “ roulette's " that the locus of G will be concave or convex upwards according as

C0s¢>=l 1

h r>+P" (3)

where p, p' are the radii of curvature of the two curves at I, ¢ is the inclination of the common tangent at I to the horizontal, and h is The signs of p, p' are to be taken positive when the curvatures are as in the

G standard case shown in fig. 49. Hence for stability the upper sign must obtain in (8). The same criterion may be

arrived at in a more intuitive manner as follows. If the body be supposed to roll (say to the right) until the curves touch at:I', and if I]'=5s, the angle through

the height of G above I.


1 which the uzpper figure rotates is ~ 65/p+5s/p', and the horizontal displacement, of G is equal to the product of

this expression into h. If this displacement be less than the horizontal projection of I]', viz. 55 cos ¢, the vertical through the new position of G will fall to the left of I' and gravity will tend to restore the body to its former position. It is here assumed that the remaining forces acting on the body in its displaced position have g zero moment about ]'; this is evidently the case, for instance, in the problem of “ rocking stones." The principle of virtual work is specially convenient in the theory of frames (§ 6), since the reactions at smooth joints and the stresses in inextensible bars may be left out of account. In particular, in the case of a frame which is just rigid, the principle enables us to find the stress in any onebar independently of the rest. If we imagine the bar in question to be removed, equilibrium will still persist if we introduce two equaland opposite forces S, of suitable magnitude, at the joints which it connected. In any infinitely small deformation of the frame as thus modified, the virtual work of the forces S, together with that of the original extraneous forces, must vanish; this determines S.,



FIG. 49.

As a simple example, take the case of a light frame, whose bars form the slides of a rhombus ABCD with the diagonal BD, suspended from A and carrying a weight W at C; and let it be required to find the stress in BD. If we remove the bar BD, and apply two equal and opposite forces S at B and D, the equation is W.5(2lCOS 0) + 2S.6(l sin 0)=o, A

where l is the length of a side of the rhombus, and 0 its inclination to the vertical. Hence

S=W tan 6=W . BD/AC. (8)

The method is specially appropriate

when the frame, although just rigid, is not "simple " in the sense of § 6, and when accordingly the method of reciprocal figures is not immediately available. To avoid the intricate trigonometrical calculations which woul.d often be necessary, -

graphical devices have been introduced by H. Müller-Breslau and others. For this purpose the infinitesimal displacements of the various joints are replaced b finite lengths proportional to them, and, therefore proportional to the velocities of the joints in some imagined motion of the deformable frame through its actual configuration; this is really (it may be remarked) a reversion to the original notion of “ virtual velocities." Let] be the instantaneous centre for any bar CD (fig. 12), and let s1, sz, represent the virtual velocities of C, D. If these lines be turned through a ri ht angle in the same sense, they take up positions such as CC', DDQ where C', D' are on IC, ID, respectively, and C'D' is parallel to CD. Further, if F1 (fig. 51) be any force acting on the joint C, its virtual work will be equal to the moment of F1 about C'; the equation of virtual work is thus transformed into an equation of moments. W I

FIG. 50.






QT-. ~

I ' ~ "

D "S Cv

si "1

Z s


5, P

A ' B C

FIG. 12. FIG. 51.

Consider, for example, a frame whose sides form the six sides of a hexagon ABCDEF and the three diagonals AD, BE, CF; and suppose that it is required to find the stress in CF due to a given system of extraneous forces in equilibrium, acting on the joints. Imagine the bar CF to be removed, and consider a deformation in which AB is fixed. The instantaneous centre of CD will be at the intersection of AD, BC, and if C'D' be drawn parallel to CD, the lines CC', DD may be taken to represent the virtual velocities of C, D turned each through E

a right angle. Moreover, if we draw

D'E' parallel to DE, and E'F' D

parallel to EF, the lines CC', DD',

EE', FF' will represent on the same F scale the virtual velocities of the

points C, D, E, F, respectively,

turned each through a right angle. ¢ The equation of virtual work is then Cf formed by taking moments about C', ~ B D', E', F' of the extraneous forces FIG 52 which act at C, D, E, F, respectively. Amongst these forces we must include the two equal and opposite forces S which take the place of the stress in the removed bar FC. The above method lends itself naturally to the investigation of the critical forms of a frame whose general structure is given. We have seen that the stresses produced by an equilibrating system of extraneous forces in a frame which is just rigid, according to the criterion of § 6, are in general uniquely determinate; in particular, when there are no extraneous forces the bars are in general free from stress. It may however ha pen that owing to some special relation between the lengths of the bars the frame admits of an infinitesimal deformation. The sim lest case is that of a frame of three bars, when the three joints R, B, C fall into a straght line; asmall displacement of the joint B at right angles to AC would involve changes in the lengths of AB, BC which are only of the second order of small quantities. Another example is shown in fig. 53. The graphical method leads at once to the detection of such cases. Thus in the hexagonal frame of fig. 52, if an infinitesimal deformation IS possible without removing the bar CF, the instantaneous centre of (when AB is fixed) will be at the intersection of AF and BC, and since CC', FF' represent the virtual velocities of the points C, F, turned each through a right angle, C'F' must be parallel to CF. Conversely, if this condition be satisfied, an infinitesimal deformation is possible. The result may be generalized into the statement that a frame has a critical form whenever a frame of the same structure can be designed