Non-linear Mechanics of Elastic and Viscous Threads

The mechanics of thin elastic or viscous objects has applications in e.g. the buckling of engineering structures, the spinning of polymer fibers, or the crumpling of plates and shells. During the past decade the mathematics, mechanics and physics communities have witnessed an upsurge of interest in those issues. A general question is to how patterns are formed in thin structures. In this talk I consider two illustrative problems: the shapes of an elastic knot, and the stitching patterns laid down by a viscous thread falling on a moving belt. These intriguing phenomena can be understood by using a combination of approaches, ranging from numerical to analytical, and based on exact equations or low-dimensional models.

Basile Audoly, CNRS and Ecole Polytechnique, France

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