Introduction to the Finite Element Method
Compared to the direct methods considered earlier, the finite element technique further extends the idea of discretization, this time of the very structure or solid under investigation. This allows to broaden the class of problems amenable to solution so as to include those dealing directly with modern technology. On the other hand, a sufficiently fine mesh and/or high order of approximation within elements, ensure that the error is kept reasonably small. This technique requires the processing of extensive data and may efficiently be implemented with the help of computers only.
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