principle of virtual work
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principle of virtual work[′prin·sə·pəl əv ′vər·chə·wəl ‚wərk]
The principle that the total work done by all forces acting on a system in static equilibrium is zero for any infinitesimal displacement from equilibrium which is consistent with the constraints of the system. Also known as virtual work principle.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.