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Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


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We invite you to the 10th Institute colloquium in the academic year 2016/17. The colloquium will be held on Wednesday, January 04, 2017 at 1 PM in the main Institute lecture hall, Jamova 39, Ljubljana.
prof. dr. Andrej Košmrlj

Princeton University, Princeton, USA

Elasticity, Geometry and Buckling

In this colloquium we present how geometrical shape affects the mechanical properties of thin solid shells and how buckling instabilities change the geometry of periodic microstructures in materials. Using methods rooted in statistical mechanics, we find that random shape fluctuations and thermal excitations of thin solid sheets significantly modify their mechanical properties. Sheets subject to such fluctuations are much harder to bend, but easier to stretch, compress and shear. In spherical shells thermal fluctuations also effectively produce negative surface tension, which is equivalent to applying external pressure. We find that small spherical shells are stable, but for sufficiently large shells this thermally generated “pressure” becomes big enough to crush spherical shells. Finally, we show how methods from solid-state physics can help us deduce the geometry of buckled periodic microstructures. Buckling instabilities can change the microstructure symmetries, including a spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking, which drastically modifies the material properties.

To read the abstract click Past colloquia are posted on

Cordially invited!