Virtual work principle
Schmidt, Paul W. Formerly, Department of Physics, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
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The principle stating that the total virtual work done by all the forces acting on a system in static equilibrium is zero for a set of infinitesimal virtual displacements from equilibrium. The infinitesimal displacements are called virtual because they need not be obtained by a displacement that actually occurs in the system. The virtual work is the work done by the virtual displacements, which can be arbitrary, provided they are consistent with the constraints of the system. See also: Constraint
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