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  • Calculus of variation is one of the oldest yet still continually developing branches of analysis. Physical variational principles were discovered prior to the birth of modern calculus and associated with names such as Fermat. With the historical development of the differential and integral calculus of Newton and Leibniz, the principle of extreme action in mechanics was formulated with effort from Maupertuis, Euler and Lagrange in mid-eighteenth century, followed by the work of deriving the equations of motion from the variational principles by Jacobi and Hamilton nearly one hundred years later. Since then calculus of variation has become one of the main tools in analysis, with numerous applications in physical sciences and engineering.

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