A sheet on a drop presents: wrinkle-to-crumple transition

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Smooth wrinkles and sharply crumpled regions are familiar motifs in biological or synthetic sheets, such as rapidly growing plant leaves and crushed foils. Nevertheless, the generic route whereby a featureless sheet develops a complex shape remains elusive. Think for instance … Continue reading

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The curtain problem

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The question underlying pattern formation theory is how a complex shape emerges under featureless forces and constraints. The basic paradigm here relies on a fundamental principle in modern condensed matter theory: A spontaneous breaking of continuos symmetry. In a previous … Continue reading

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Smooth cascades

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How does one make a rippled sheet terminate at a straight edge? If the sheet is sufficiently thin, such as a piece of paper or fabric, then the obvious solution of stretching it out flat will induce large stresses near … Continue reading

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Understanding Wrinkling

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Wrinkling patterns are ubiquitous in elastic sheets of various types: plastic wraps, metallic foils, human skins, or plant leaves. Yet, the strong dependence of these patterns on physical parameters, such as the thickness of the sheet and the stretching forces, … Continue reading

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Elastic building blocks

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The cusp topography of a crumpled paper appears markedly different from a smooth wrinkled skin. Nevertheless, a work that was published recently in Phys.Rev.Lett. suggests that both morphologies may simply reflect different coexistence forms between a few common “elastic building blocks”. … Continue reading

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