Least-squares variational principles and the finite element method: theory, formulations, and models for solid and fluid mechanics
Pontaza, Juan Pablo
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We consider the application of least-squares variational principles and the finite element method to the numerical solution of boundary value problems arising in the fields of solidand fluidmechanics.For manyof these problems least-squares principles offer many theoretical and computational advantages in the implementation of the corresponding finite element model that are not present in the traditional weak form Galerkin finite element model.Most notably, the use of least-squares principles leads to a variational unconstrained minimization problem where stability conditions such as inf-sup conditions (typically arising in mixed methods using weak form Galerkin finite element formulations) never arise. In addition, the least-squares based finite elementmodelalways yields a discrete system ofequations witha symmetric positive definite coeffcientmatrix.These attributes, amongst manyothers highlightedand detailed in this work, allow the developmentofrobust andeffcient finite elementmodels for problems of practical importance. The research documented herein encompasses least-squares based formulations for incompressible and compressible viscous fluid flow, the bending of thin and thick plates, and for the analysis of shear-deformable shell structures.