The beamsolve proc solves a (possibly multispan) Euler beam equation:
subject to initial and boundary conditions. The solution is the
transverse deflection of the beam at point at time , subject to the load
density (i.e., load per unit length) given by . The coefficient
is the beam's mass density (mass per unit length), is the Young's modulus of
the beam's material, and is the beam's crosssectional moment of inertia
about the neutral axis. The figure below illustrates a 3span beam (drawn in green)
supported on four supports, and loaded by a variable density load (drawn in gray)
which may vary in time. The objective is to determine the deformed shape of the
beam as a function of time.
The number of spans, their lengths, and the nature of the supports may be specified
as arguments to beamsolve.
In this worksheet we assume that are constants for simplicity. Since only
the product of the coefficients and enters the calculations, we lump the two
together into a single variable which we indicate with the twoletter symbol .
Commonly, is referred to as the beam's rigidity.
The PDE needs to be supplied with boundary conditions, two at each end, each
condition prescribing a value (possibly timedependent) for one of
(that's 36 possible combinations!) where I have used subscripts to indicate
derivatives. Thus, for a singlespan beam of length , the following is an admissible
set of boundary conditions:
. (Oops, coorection, that last
condition was meant to be u_{xxx}(L,t) = sin t.)
Additionally, the PDE needs to be supplied with initial conditions which express
the initial displacement and the initial velocity:
The PDE is solved through the Method of Lines. Thus, each span is subdivided into
subintervals and the PDE's spatial derivatives are approximated through finite differences.
The time derivatives, however, are not discretized. This reduces the PDE into a set of
ODEs which are solved with Maple's dsolve().
Calling sequence:
beamsolve(, options)
Parameters:
: List of span lengths, in order from left to right, as in .
The number of subintervals in the shortest span (for the finite difference approximation)
Notes:
• 
It is assumed that the spans are laid backtoback along the axis, with the left end
of the overall beam at .

• 
The interior supports, that is, those supports where any two spans meet, are assumed
to be of the socalled simple type. A simple support is immobile and it doesn't exert
a bending moment on the beam. Supports at the far left and far right of the beam can
be of general type; see the BC_left and BC_right options below.

Options:
All options are of the form option_name=value, and have builtin default values.
Only options that are other than the defaults need be specified.
rho: the beam's (constant) mass density per unit length (default: rho = 1)
EI: the beam's (constant) rigidity (default: EI = 1)
T: solve the PDE over the time interval (default: T = 1)
F: an expression in and that describes the applied force (default: F = 0)
IC: the list of the initial displacement and velocity, as
expressions in (default: IC = [0,0])
BC_left: a list consisting of a pair of boundary conditions at the left end of
the overall (possibly multispan beam. These can be any two of
. The righthand sides of these equations
can be any expression in . The lefthand sides should be entered literally as indicated.
If a righthand side is omitted, it is taken to be zero. (default: BC_left = which
corresponds to a simple support).
BC_right: like BC_left, but for the right end of the overall beam (default: BC_right =
The returned module:
A call to beamsolve returns a module which presents three methods. The methods are:
plot (t, refine=val, options)
plots the solution at time . If the discretization in the direction
is too coarse and the graph looks nonsmooth, the refine option
(default: refine=1) may be specified to smooth out the graph by introducing
val number of intermediate points within each discretized subinterval.
All other options are assumed to be plot options and are passed to plots:display.
plot3d (m=val, options)
plots the surface . The optional specification requests
a grid consisting of subintervals in the time direction (default:
Note that this grid is for plotting purposes only; the solution is computed
as a continuous (not discrete) function of time. All other options are assumed
to be plot3d options and are passed to plots:display.
animate (frames=val, refine=val, options)
produces an animation of the beam's motion. The frames option (default = 50)
specifies the number of animation frames. The refine option is passed to plot
(see the description above. All other options are assumed to be plot options and
are passed to plots:display.
Note:
In specifying the boundary conditions, the following reminder can be helpful. If the beam
is considered to be horizontal, then is the vertical displacement, is the slope,
is the bending moment, and is the transverse shear force.
