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Geometry and Physics of Wrinkling - E. Cerda and L. Mahadevan

Este paper explica a través de la física y geometría los patrones básicos en los cuales se arrugan las sábanas en una cama. Colaboración de E. Cerda (USACH) y L. Mahadevan (Cambridge), ganó el Ig Nobel de física en 2007 y es hasta ahora el único de un chileno en estos premios.


The wrinkling of thin elastic sheets occurs over a range of length scales, from the fine scale patterns in substrates on which cells crawl to the coarse wrinkles seen in clothes. Motivated by the wrinkling of a stretched elastic sheet, we deduce a general theory of wrinkling, valid far from the onset of the instability, using elementary geometry and the physics of bending and stretching. Our main result is a set of simple scaling laws; the wavelength of the wrinkles λ∼K-1/4, where K is the stiffness due to an “elastic substrate” effect with a multitude of origins, and the amplitude of the wrinkle A∼λ. These could form the basis of a highly sensitive quantitative wrinkling assay for the mechanical characterization of thin solid membranes.

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