The least uncomfortable journey from A to B
Journal article, 2016

A short introduction is given about direct variational methods and their relation to Galerkin and moment methods, all flexible and powerful approaches for finding approximate solutions to difficult physical equations. An application of these methods is given in the form of the variational problem of minimizing the discomfort experienced during different journeys, between two fixed horizontal points while keeping the travel time constant. The analysis is shown to provide simple, yet accurate, approximate solutions of the problem and illustrates the usefulness and the power of direct variational and moment methods. It also demonstrates the problem of a priori assessing the accuracy of the approximate solutions and illustrates that the variational solution does not necessarily provide a more accurate solution than that obtained by moment methods.

variational methods


Dan Anderson

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy

Mats Desaix

University of Borås

Robert Nyqvist

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy

American Journal of Physics

0002-9505 (ISSN)

Vol. 84 9 690-695


Basic sciences

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