Yu. L. Sachkov, E. L. Sachkova, Exponential mapping in Euler's elastic problem

Title: Exponential mapping in Euler's elastic problem
Authors: Yu. L. Sachkov, E. L. Sachkova
Journal title: Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems
Year: 2014
Volume: 20

The classical Euler's problem on optimal configurations of elastic rod in the plane with fixed endpoints and tangents at the endpoints is considered. 
The global structure of the exponential mapping that parameterises extremal trajectories is described. It is proved that open domains cut out by Maxwell strata in the preimage and image of the exponential mapping  are mapped diffeomorphically. As a consequence, computation of globally optimal elasticae with given boundary conditions is reduced to solving systems of algebraic equations having unique solutions in the open domains. For certain special boundary conditions, optimal elasticae are presented.