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Title: Dimensional analysis using toric ideals: Primitive invariants
Authors: Atherton, MA
Bates, RA
Wynn, HP
Keywords: Classical dimensional analysis;Toric ideal theory;Primitive Invariants
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS ONE, 9(12): e112827, (01 December 2014)
Abstract: Classical dimensional analysis in its original form starts by expressing the units for derived quantities, such as force, in terms of power products of basic units M, L, T etc. This suggests the use of toric ideal theory from algebraic geometry. Within this the Graver basis provides a unique primitive basis in a well-defined sense, which typically has more terms than the standard Buckingham approach. Some textbook examples are revisited and the full set of primitive invariants found. First, a worked example based on convection is introduced to recall the Buckingham method, but using computer algebra to obtain an integer K matrix from the initial integer A matrix holding the exponents for the derived quantities. The K matrix defines the dimensionless variables. But, rather than this integer linear algebra approach it is shown how, by staying with the power product representation, the full set of invariants (dimensionless groups) is obtained directly from the toric ideal defined by A. One candidate for the set of invariants is a simple basis of the toric ideal. This, although larger than the rank of K, is typically not unique. However, the alternative Graver basis is unique and defines a maximal set of invariants, which are primitive in a simple sense. In addition to the running example four examples are taken from: a windmill, convection, electrodynamics and the hydrogen atom. The method reveals some named invariants. A selection of computer algebra packages is used to show the considerable ease with which both a simple basis and a Graver basis can be found.
Description: © 2014 Atherton et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Research Papers

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