The state of stress at a point

As we have seen in the previous discussion, that stress at a point P(x, y, z) depends not only on the location of the point but also on the plane passing through the point. But an infinite number of planes can be drawn passing through a point P. For each of the plane, we get corresponding stress vector T.  So we have an infinite number of stress vectors acting at a given point. The totality of all stress vectors acting on every possible plane passing through the point is defined to be the state of stress at that point. It will be shown later that if the stress vectors acting on three mutually perpendicular planes passing through the point are known, then one can determine the stress vector acting on any other arbitrary plane at that point.


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