least-work theory

least-work theory

[¦lēst ′wərk ‚thē·ə·rē]
(mechanics)
A theory of statically indeterminate structures based on the fact that when a stress is applied to such a structure the individual parts of it are deflected so that the energy stored in the elastic members is minimized.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.