Drops and elastic sheets
Usually, man-made structures are design to withstand the effect of its weight or aerodynamic forces. But as we scale down structures, surface forces become dominant. And for example slender micro-structures (like the accelerometer in cell phones) may be destroyed by capillary forces.
But in some cases, surface tension may also have a positive role and deform thin objects into a new shape or pattern. I will present some problems that we have studied recently: hierarchical sticking of wet elastic lamellae, capillary origami. The selection of the final shape is a strongly non-linear problem, with a rich phase diagram. Although these situations are particularly relevant at small scale, the approach that we follow is to study them through macroscopic model experiments.
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- Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics
- Center for Studies of Complex Systems
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- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Physics
- Biophysics Program