Session H52: Focus Session: Extreme Mechanics - Rods

8:00 AM–11:00 AM, Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Room: 153C

Sponsoring Units: GSNP DFD
Chair: Douglas Holmes, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Abstract ID: BAPS.2012.MAR.H52.2

Abstract: H52.00002 : The Mechanics of Curly Hair

8:36 AM–8:48 AM

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  James Miller
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  Arnaud Lazarus

  Breanna Berry

  Basile Audoly
    (Institut d'Alembert (University Paris 6))

  Pedro Reis

We explore the oft-neglected role of intrinsic natural curvature on the mechanics of elastic rods. Our testbed, a hanging hair, is a deceivingly simple system that exhibits complex mechanics and geometrically nonlinear behavior. Through a combination of precision desktop-scale experiments, numerical simulations, and theoretical analysis, we seek physical insight into the nontrivial configurations adopted by a naturally curved elastic rod that is suspended under its own weight. In particular, we aim to gain predictive understanding of the transition from planar to non-planar solutions as well as the localization of torsion in the non-planar configurations. The experimentally observed behavior of our custom-fabricated naturally curved rods is captured well by simulations and is rationalized through scaling arguments.

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