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Entry by Emily Redston, AP 225, Fall 2011

The classic definition of strain is

<math>\epsilon = {{l_i - l_0} \over l_0} = {\Delta l \over l_0}</math>

where <math>l_0</math> is the original length before any load is applied, and <math>l_i</math> is the instantaneous length. <math>\Delta l</math> is the deformation elongation, or change in length at some instant, as referenced to the original length. This strain is typically referred to as "engineering" strain, and it a unitless quantity. Oftentimes strain is expressed as a percentage, so the strain value is simply multiplied by 100.

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