Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

On the generalized virial theorem for systems with variable mass

Abstract : We presently extend the virial theorem for both discrete and continuous systems of material points with variable mass, relying on developments presented in Ganghoffer (Int J Solids Struct 47:1209―1220, 2010). The developed framework is applicable to describe physical systems at very different scales, from the evolution of a population of biological cells accounting for growth to mass ejection phenomena occurring within a collection of gravitating objects at the very large astrophysical scales. As a starting basis, the field equations in continuum mechanics are written to account for a mass source and a mass flux, leading to a formulation of the virial theorem accounting for non-constant mass within the considered system. The scalar and tensorial forms of the virial theorem are then written successively in both Lagrangian and Eulerian formats, incorporating the mass flux. As an illustration, the averaged stress tensor in accreting gravitating solid bodies is evaluated based on the generalized virial theorem.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Lemta Ul <>
Submitted on : Friday, December 16, 2016 - 10:53:25 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 4:02:05 PM




Jean-François Ganghoffer, Rachid Rahouadj. On the generalized virial theorem for systems with variable mass. Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Springer Verlag, 2016, 28 (1), pp.443--463. ⟨10.1007/s00161-015-0444-3⟩. ⟨hal-01417905⟩



Record views