Inserted: 15 sep 2020
Last Updated: 15 sep 2020
If a variational problem comes with no boundary conditions prescribed beforehand, and yet these arise as a consequence of the variation process itself, we speak of a free boundary values variational problem. Such is, for instance, the problem of finding the shortest curve whose endpoints can slide along two prescribed curves. There exists a rigorous geometric way to formulate this sort of problems on smooth manifolds with boundary, which we review here in a friendly self-contained way. As an application, we study a particular free boundary values variational problem, the free-sliding Bernoulli beam.