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The effect of surface tension on thin elastic rods

Analysis, Dynamics, and Applications Seminar

The effect of surface tension on thin elastic rods
Series: Analysis, Dynamics, and Applications Seminar
Location: Online
Presenter: Ethan O’Brien, Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona

A recent experiment by Mora et al. showed that surface tension can cause a thin elastic rod to spontaneously bend when immersed in a fluid [PRL 111, 114301].  This experiment is remarkable in that it defies common intuition: the typical examples of large deformations caused by surface tension involve objects floating on the surface of a fluid, and the deformations are driven by a difference in surface tension between the two sides of the object.  We use nonlinear elasticity and dimension reduction to derive an equation for the energy of a thin rod with surface tension, correctly predicting which rods bent when immersed in fluid and which rods did not.

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