Seminar Event Detail

Applied Interdisciplinary Mathematics (AIM)

Date:  Friday, March 30, 2018
Location:  1084 East Hall (3:00 PM to 4:00 PM)

Title:  Better living through frustration or: Shaping liquid surfaces with thin elastic sheets

Abstract:   Gauss's Theorema Egregium is the source of many annoyances: flat bandages don't stick as well to curved knuckles or elbows, maps of the earth exaggerate areas near the poles, and automotive metal must be pounded to make a doubly-curved fender. We are investigating such "geometric frustration" in a class of extremely bendable materials that are nonetheless hard to stretch. I will discuss recent experiments in three settings, where we wrap, poke, and squeeze ultrathin polymer films on liquid surfaces. Surprisingly, even in the limit of zero bending rigidity, a thin sheet can sculpt a liquid surface into a variety of shapes. Moreover, I will show how these overall shapes can be understood without describing any of the small-scale wrinkles, folds, or crumples. These results demonstrate a novel route for modifying the mechanical or chemical properties of interfaces using thin films, and they shed light on a new class of isometries that arise in a "wrinkly" limit.


Speaker:  Joseph Paulsen
Institution:  Syracuse University

Event Organizer:   Ian Tobasco   


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