Abstracts

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*Geckos and Needles: Interesting Observations in Soft Matter Fracture*

Unstable failure is traditionally avoided. However, recently, we have focused on the distinct advantages of unstable crack propagation at interfaces and within ultra-soft materials. We highlight two examples that demonstrate these findings and how they can inform our broad understanding of soft gels, tissues and organisms.

First, we describe recent experiments focused on demonstrating a scaling relationship, which relates climbing force to the properties and morphology of climbing organisms. Second, we discuss new measurements that quantify the deformation mechanisms associated with puncturing a soft material.We have initiated a broad study into the mechanics of puncture in synthetic gels and have discovered several interesting and impactful relationships. For example, we observe that the nominal stresses prior to puncture can exceed several hundred times the Young?s modulus.These results and our proposed analysis have implications on crack nucleation in soft gels.

*/Wednesday, April 13, 2016/*
*/5:30 p.m. ? 7:00 p.m./*
*/2nd floor Maxwell Dworkin Lounge/*
*/Pizzas start at 5:20 p.m./*