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Since the first edition of this book, the subject of stability of structures
has steadily increased in importance, especially in the design of metal
structures. As a result, many engineering schools now offer courses in
this subject, usually as part of a curriculum in applied mechanics. This
book is intended primarily to serve the needs of the beginning student of
the subject, and the emphasis is on fundamental theory rather than
specific applications.
In this second edition the authors have attempted to bring up to date
the subject matter of the first edition and a t the same time to maintain
the presentation which was characteristic of the earlier work. The book
begins with the analysis of beam-columns (Chap. 1) and then proceeds
to elastic buckling of bars (Chap. 2). The latter chapter has been
enlarged to include buckling under the action of nonconservative forces,
periodically varying forces, and impact. In addition, the discussion of
the determination of critical loads of columns by successive approxima-
tions has been expanded. The material on inelastic buckling of bars has
been augmented by the introduction of the tangent modulus and placed
in a new chapter (Chap. 3). Chapter 4 describes experiments on buckling
of bars and is about the same as in the earlier edition, since it was felt
that the original material still retains its inherent value.
A new chapter on torsional buckling (Chap. 5) has been added to the
book, and the chapter on lateral buckling of beams (Chap. 6) has been
extensively revised. Chapter 7 deals with the bucklihg of rings, curved
bars, and arches and contains several additions. The chapters dealing
with bending of plates and shells (Chaps. 8 and 10) are substantially
unchanged and are included in the book as prerequisites to Chaps. 9
and 11 on buckling of plates and shells. In Chap. 9 (buckling of plates)
several new cases of buckling are considered, and some tables for calcu-
lating critical stresses have been added. All the important material
from the first edition has been retained in this chapter as well as in
Chap. 11 (buckling of shells). The material added in Chap. 11 consists
of discussion of postbuckling behavior of compressed cylindrical shells
and some new material on buckling of curved sheet panels, stiffened
cylindrical shells, and spherical shells.

Numerous footnote references are given throughout the text as an aid

to the student who wishes to pursue some aspect of the subject further.
The authors take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Thor H. Sjostrand
and Mrs. Richard E. Platt for assistance in preparing the manuscript
and reading the proofs for this second edition.
Stephen P. Timoshenko
James M. Gere