On the search for **easier ways**, I was wondering if a recursive expand could make sense. Something like

expand['recurse'](expr)

Similar to eval['recurse'].

(I would prefer expand because it is more specific than simplify.)

op, with all its drawbacks, is at least easy to get something done and easy to remember.

I do not get the error with Maple 2024.1. Which version of Maple do you use?

I would be interested in the invariant you intend to use to test solutions. The invariant could be used to test the symbolic solution below as well

pdsolve({pde, v(a, t) = 0, v(b, t) = 0, v(x, 0) = f(x + 5), D[2](v)(x, 0) = -eval(diff(f(x), x), x = x + 5)})

You could of course use this solution, which is independed from any physical context, for tests as well.

Correct. Probes could be a way to plot variables over time. However:

Probes connect to ports of components. In the case of a sphere contact only two variables are exportet: dummy (which gives an error) and R which is the radius of the sphere.

But probes are only for plotting. If forces are used for computations within the model (e.g. for a controller) they must be measured. For such purposes special measuring componets are available but they are not compatible with the ports of a contact element.

The model tree provides an overwelming number of parameters and variables for a contact element but I have not clue how to access this programatically (and what these parameters and variables stand for).