Reduced theories in nonlinear elasticity

Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 2:00pm - 2:50pm
EE/CS 3-180
Marta Lewicka (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Elastic materials exhibit qualitatively different responses to different kinematic boundary conditions or body forces. As a first step towards understanding the related evolutionary problem, one studies the minimizers of an appropriate nonlinear elastic energy functional.

We shall give an overview of recent results, rigorously deriving 2d elasticity theories for thin 3d shells around mid-surfaces of arbitrary geometry. One major ingredient is the study of Sobolev spaces of infinitesimal isometries on surfaces, their density and matching properties. Another one relates to the non-Euclidean version of 3d nonlinear elasticity, conjectured to explain the mechanism for spontaneous formation of non-zero stress equilibria in growing tissues (leaves, flowers). Here, we prove a Gamma-convergence result, and as a corollary, we obtain new conditions for existence of isometric immersions of 2d Riemannian metrics into 3d space.
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