Isometric immersions, geometric incompatibility and strain induced shape formation.

Friday, May 20, 2011 - 11:00am - 12:00pm
Lind 305
Shankar Venkataramani (University of Arizona)
Thin elastic sheets are usually modeled by variational problems for an energy with two scales, a (strong) stretching energy and a (weak) bending energy. A useful paradigm in understanding the behavior of theses sheets under various loadings/boundary conditions is the following -- Singularites/microstructure in the observed configurations of thin sheets reflect geometric incompatibility, that is the non-existence of admissible, sufficiently smooth isometric immersions (zero stretching energy test functions). Using specific examples, and a combination of rigorous results and conjectures motivated by numerical computation, I will try to argue that the relation between the observed geometry of thin elastic sheets and the existence/nonexistence of isometric immersions is much more subtle.
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