Northwestern Events Calendar


Complex Systems Seminar: Professor Joseph Paulsen: The extreme mechanics of balloons: From interfacial films to inflated membranes and back

When: Thursday, October 8, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cristian Pennington   (847) 491-3645

Group: Physics and Astronomy Complex Systems Seminars

Category: Academic


Deformable sheets are ubiquitous in nature and industry across a vast range of scales, from graphene to metal foil to the earth’s crust. Sheets are also central to advanced applications including flexible electronics and deployable satellites or emergency shelters. Yet, we are still working to understand how elastic sheets deform under relatively simple loading, from the selection of an overall shape, down to the fine microstructural details. I will discuss a suite of experiments using interfacial films and inflated membranes to address problems spanning this entire range. I will describe how an ultrathin polymer film wrapped around a liquid droplet adopts highly non-symmetric shapes as the droplet size is decreased, and how this overall shape selection may be understood using a simple geometric model. This finding reveals a fundamental connection between interfacial films and mylar balloons. Inspired by this connection, we are conducting experiments using inflated membranes to discover how smooth sinusoidal wrinkles transition into sharp “crumples”, a buckling pattern that appears to be a generic building block for confined sheets.

Professor Joseph Paulsen, Syracuse University

Host: Michelle Driscoll

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Complex Systems

Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in