A LAGRANGIAN BASED DIRECT APPROACH TO MACROSCOPIC MODELLING
A direct Lagrangian based approach, designed at a length scale of interest, to characterize the response of a body is proposed. The main idea is to understand the dynamics of a deformable body via a Lagrangian corresponding to a coupled interaction of rigid particles in the reduced dimension (see [1,2] for more details).
In the last decade there has been significant research activity in the use of Eringen’s nonlocal models  to reformulate the equations of beams and plates. All of the previous works used a length scale parameter to study its effect on bending, buckling, and vibration characteristics , without identifying what the length scale parameter means. An attempt is made herein, for the first time, to relate the length scale parameter(s) to physical parameters. The Eringen’s non-local Euler–Bernoulli and Timoshenko beam models are identified as continuum limits of a discrete system comprising of harmonic oscillators. The correspondence between the coefficients of the discrete and the continuum models is used to determine the source of the non-locality in the context of Eringen’s non-local beams .
Via correspondence we can represent the nonlocality parameters in terms of variables in the discrete system (see Sarkar and Reddy  for details).
A DISCRETE LAGRANGIAN APPROACH TO MACROSCOPIC MODELLING
Here it is argued that the usual practice of describing the deformable body laws in the continuum limit is unnecessary, because for most of the practical problems, analytical solutions are not available. Since continuum limit is not taken, the framework automatically relaxes the requirement of differentiability of field variables. The discrete Lagrangian based approach can be applied to derive, for example, an equivalent Euler-Bernoulli beam model.
The Euler-Lagrange equations corresponding to may be arrived at as
Bending characteristics may be incorporated in the discrete Lagrangian via:
APPLICATION TO THE EULER-BERNOULLI BEAM
We design a discrete potential based on the notion of surface normal (see Figs. 3, 4 & 5) to model the Euler-Bernoulli beam.
With varying nonlocality parameter δ, we report the displacement profiles for three different cases: (1) simply supported (see Fig. 6), (2) clamped (see Fig. 7) and (3) cantilever (see Fig. 8) boundary conditions.
MICRO-CRACK PROPAGATION IN A THIN STRUCTURE
To show that we can simulate the problem of crack propagation on a thin isotropic plate (Figure. 9) and anisotropic plate (Figure. 10)) via an appropriate potential function.
In this study, a suitable discrete Lagrangian based approach for solving dynamical systems at a length scale of interest is proposed. A major aspect of the work is to understand continuum nonlocality. It is argued that the usual practice of describing the deformable body laws in the continuum limit is redundant, because for most of the practical problems analytical solutions are not available.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of this research by the Oscar S. Wyatt Endowed Chair funds.
REFERENCES Sarkar, S., & Reddy, J. N. (2016). Exploring the source of non-locality in the Euler–Bernoulli and Timoshenko beam models. International Journal of Engineering Science, 104, 110-115.
 Sarkar, S., Nowruzpour, M., Reddy, J. N., & Srinivasa, A. (2016). A Lagrangian Based Direct Approach to Macroscopic Modelling, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, in review
 Eringen, A. C., & Edelen, D. G. B. (1972). On nonlocal elasticity. International Journal of Engineering Science, 10(3), 233-248.
 Reddy, J. N. (2007). Nonlocal theories for bending, buckling and vibration of beams. International Journal of Engineering Science, 45(2), 288-307.