The Reynolds equation, for short journal bearings, is treated with a new approach to the boundary condition at the beginning of the lubricating film. The nondimensional hydrodynamic side leakage and other performance characteristics of the bearing are shown to be a function not only of Sommerfeld number and width over diameter ratio but also of another parameter which depends on the starting condition at the film inlet. The results obtained by other investigators till now are shown to be only a limiting case of the more general analysis given here. This work is the first part of a larger work embracing the analysis of finite bearings.

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