With reference to undamped elastic systems subjected to nonconservative forces, the possibility of a transition from stability to divergence through infinitely large values of the frequency is considered. Examined in detail is the special case of a cantilever column with two concentrated masses and subjected to a follower end force. It is shown that either flutter or divergence may first set in, depending on the relative magnitudes and locations of the masses. The results obtained by letting one of the masses tend to zero are not necessarily consistent with those obtained directly by setting that mass equal to zero; alternately, it may be stated that an additional infinitesimal mass may lead to drastic changes in the stability behavior of a given elastic system subjected to nonconservative forces.

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