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Over the past few months valuable and stimulating contributions to the subject of structural stability have been made by Professors Bolton and Horne. They observe that the subject is one which structural engineers have difficulty in understanding. In the present discussion the sources of this difficulty are considered. The fundamental prepositions of classical mechanics which govern all such phenomenon in conservative systems are stated, and the application of these to the problems given by Bolton and Horne are given. Finally some comments are included on modern stability theory for
non-conservative systems, and, how current research is attempting to use these to solve some practical engineering problems.
The main changes incorporated in the recent revision of the Code of Practice for Liquid Retaining Structures, BS 5337 (1976) are discussed, together with the reasons for these changes as compared with the previous Code CP published in 1960.
I should like to thank Dr. Rangasami and Dr. Kaburu for their Technical Note, which has assisted me in some practical engineering research in the field of braced domes and vaults.