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56
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does dry spaghetti break into three pieces as opposed to only two?

You can try it with your own uncooked spaghetti if you want; it almost always breaks into three when you snap it. I am asking for a good physical theory on why this is along with evidence to back it ...
19
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is stress a tensor quantity?

Why is stress a tensor quantity? Why is pressure not a tensor? According to what I know pressure is an internal force whereas stress is external so how are both quantities not tensors? I am ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How is potential energy actually stored in a steel spring at the atomic level?

Elasticity is one the most intriguing phenomena, wiki gives a summary explanation of what happens in a steel spring: the atomic lattice changes size and shape when forces are applied (energy is ...
11
votes
1answer
330 views

Why does plastic turn white in the area of stress?

There is a phenomenon with plastic in which it changes color to white in areas where stress is applied. When I bend a plastic rod the area in the centre, it turns white or loses colour. Why does this ...
10
votes
3answers
34k views

Hollow Tube Stronger than Solid bar of same Outside Diameter (O.D.)?

I was listening to some co-workers talking about problems meeting stiffness requirements. Someone said that even with a solid metal rod (instead of the existing tube) we could not meet stiffness ...
8
votes
2answers
806 views

Tearing a piece paper along a crease

Why is it easier to tear paper along a crease? To word it differently: why does a "tear" progress along a crease, if one is present?
7
votes
3answers
278 views

How wide does a wall of ice need to be to stay in place?

Let us say that we have unlimited manpower to construct a huge wall of water ice e.g. 200 m tall (700 feet). -and that the wall is placed in a climate, where the temperature never (for your purpose) ...
6
votes
4answers
468 views

Why are stresses of continuum systems described via a tensor?

The tittle pretty much says enough. I have always been told so but no one really motivated it. So, I would like to know why do we use a tensor to describe the stresses in continuum mechanics.
6
votes
6answers
58k views

What is the difference between stress and pressure?

What is the difference between stress and pressure? Are there any intuitive examples that explain the difference between the two? How about an example of when pressure and stress are not equal?
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How does the energy in a standing wave travel beyond a node?

In a standing wave, how does energy travel past a node? It should just get reflected. Assume the case of first overtone and you strike the string at a place. How will energy distribute itself? If it ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

Stress calculations in a perforated paper

You have a sheet of paper (torn out of a good quality foolscap notebook) as shown above, and you start pulling it apart with both your hands (forces indicating by the blue arrows). Its difficult to ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Physical meaning of elastic constants of a monoclinic crystal

For the elasticity of a material, Hook's law can be written in tensorial form as: $$\sigma = \mathsf{C}\, \varepsilon$$ where $\sigma$ is the Cauchy stress tensor, $\varepsilon$ is the infinitesimal ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

What happens when a piezo crystal is exposed to a vacuum?

Application of mechanical stress to a piezo crystal generates a charge. Quoting from wikipedia, a 1 cm3 cube of quartz with 2 kN (500 lbf) of correctly applied force can produce a voltage of 12500 ...
4
votes
3answers
980 views

Does zero strain always imply zero stress?

In solid mechanics, can I always assume that if an object undergoes no strain, then no stress is applied to it? I think it's true only because I can't seem to find a counter-example.
4
votes
2answers
9k views

Will a diamond break if I hit it with a hammer [closed]

I was having this discussion with my friend about the hardness of diamonds. I would like to know if a diamond will break or not if hit with a hammer. Different sources across the internet mention ...
4
votes
3answers
598 views

Calculating stress without strain

I am working on an algorithm for a real-time simulation. I would like to calculate to extremely permissive tolerances approximate values for the stress within a 2D geometry. It will not be difficult ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

First-principles derivation of cutting force

I know that the amount of force required to separate a material from itself is linked to the surface energy of that material. However, looking at just the surface energy laughably underestimates the ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

Does a thermally expanding torus experience internal stress?

I'm trying to learn continuum mechanics and thermo-mechanics. As we know, heating an object increases the mean atomic distance $a_0$ of the atoms in a rigid body. Let's assume it is a linear elastic ...
4
votes
0answers
57 views

Cauchy stress tensor for a spherically symmetric problem [closed]

Given a sperically symmetric problem, I am asked to show that its Cauchy stress tensor, in spherical coordinates will assume the form: ...
3
votes
1answer
894 views

Why does glass break at the line where you score it?

Why does it take such a small incision for the glass to break at that spot? Why is the structural strength of the material influenced by such a small imperfection?
3
votes
2answers
100 views

What will limit the speed at which one can play the piano?

I thought about this as a fun question. Suppose we provide a piano player that is limited only by the typical relativistic rules (i.e., hands and fingers cannot move faster the speed of light), so ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

In continuum mechanics, why is the stress vector $T=\sigma\cdot n$ not a covector?

In continuum mechanics, the stress vector (see Cauchy stress tensor) $T=\sigma\cdot n$ is the surface density of a force. Forces are covectors, since they map a displacement vector to a scalar energy. ...
3
votes
3answers
180 views

origin of the major symmetry property of the elasticity tensor

In linear elasticity theory the stress tensor $\sigma$ is related to the strain tensor $\epsilon$ via the elastic tensor $C$. Specifically $$ \sigma_{ij} = C_{ijkl} \epsilon_{kl} $$ Because $\sigma$ ...
3
votes
1answer
354 views

Material strain from spacetime curvature

Let's say that you moved an object made of rigid materials into a place with extreme tidal forces. Materials have a modulus of elasticity and a yield strength. Does the corresponding 3D geometric ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Formulas for compressibility of solids

I am taking a course in mechanics this semester, as well as a course in reservoir physics. Both courses have sections devoted to pressure/compressibility of solids, but the formulas look slightly ...
3
votes
2answers
578 views

What is the mathematical formulation for buckling?

Argument: Buckling is an engineering concept that can only be applied to thin columns with compressive loading. (Is it possible to) Prove the above sentence right or wrong with mathematical ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Perturbations on a fluid thread and hydrodynamic instability

I know that due to fluid instability there are some perturbations ( picture below ) after all of these, my question is the reason of existence of these perturbations. Why exactly they appear? Shear ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

How does stress change through a bar that sharply increases in diameter?

I am looking to analyse the stress through the following bar: The bar is of circular cross section, homogeneous in material, that is of a certain diameter on one half, and a large diameter on the ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Cauchy stress tensor in different coordinate system

The general form of the cauchy stress tensor is given by the dyadic decomposition $$\boldsymbol \sigma = \sigma_{ij}\,\,\mathbf{e}_i \otimes \mathbf{e}_j$$ I want to know how this can be expanded in ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What causes stress concentration (aka stress risers/raisers) at corners?

I've read a few explanations about why stress concentration occurs at sharp corners but I don't find the explanations intuitive. Can anyone explain it perhaps using an analogy such as atoms "holding ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

Decomposition of deformation into bend, stretch and twist?

I'm wondering is there any way to decompose the deformation of an object into different components? For example, into stretching, bending and twisting part respectively? The decomposition could be ...
3
votes
2answers
278 views

Degree of anisotropy of crystal tensors

Does there exist a scalar that can describe how anisotropic the elasticity of a crystal is? What about other tensors such as the permittivity or susceptibility? I found a Wikipedia article that was ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

in Science materials, what is difference b/w E and G?

I'm studying Science Materials on Callister's Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction. I've never studied Mechanics (except for basic Physics courses), so I was wandering: when talking ...
2
votes
3answers
485 views

What is the motivation for Mohr's circle?

I am very puzzled by the motivation for Mohr's circle in Wikipedia here. Please, explain why we need something called "Mohr's circle". Use as little words as possible and be precise. Helper questions ...
2
votes
2answers
611 views

Why is steel-reinforced concrete stronger than ordinary concrete?

Is it only because steel has higher elasticity? What other factors are involved?
2
votes
1answer
525 views

What is the two dimensional equivalent of a spring?

I'm trying to model isotropic linear elastic deformation in two dimensions. In one dimension, I know that a linear elastic material can be thought of as a spring which obeys Hooke's law $F=-k\Delta ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Do all impacts create a wave-like disturbance in the medium through which they travel?

There is a scene in the first Matrix movie, where a helicopter strikes a skyscraper. The most interesting part is the 'slow-motion' bit where, as the helicopter strikes the building, a wave first ...
2
votes
2answers
523 views

It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Cling Film

I'm currently doing some work on a presentation about graphene, and have come across numerous articles which claim something along the lines of It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

what is the static pressure in a yield stress fluid?

Suppose I have a tank filled and there is no slip at the walls. If the tank is filled with a Newtonian fluid and is in static equilibrium, we know that the pressure is defined as $p = \rho g z$. But ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

pure compression or pure traction?

I know that if we are given a stress tensor that is diagonal, the sign on the diagonal entries tell us whether we have traction or compression. Now, imagine that we are given a non diagonal stress ...
2
votes
3answers
860 views

Glass pipe cutting

I want to know how to quickly create the straightest possible breaks in glass pipes I apologise if this is only borderline suitable for a physics forum - I just hope experts with a lot of experience ...
2
votes
1answer
527 views

Poisson effect formula for large deformations

English Wikipedia in the Poisson's ratio article gives an equation for large deformation: $$ \frac{\Delta d}{d}=-1+\frac{1}{\left(1+\dfrac{\Delta L}{L}\right)^\nu} $$ I couldn't find any reference ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the shear stress of a fluid?

One book defines the shear stress $\tau$ of a (Newtonian) fluid as $$\tau = \eta \frac{\partial v}{\partial r} $$ where $\eta$ is the viscosity. There is not much context, so I've made some guesses. ...
2
votes
2answers
321 views

What is the shape of a clamped bent bar?

How would I figure out the Cartesian graph that describes a bar clamped flat for a length on one end with downward force being applied to the other? I have an idea that the bar will try to average ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

What does it mean for shear modulus to be less than bulk modulus?

It is known that Shear Modulus is generally less than Young's modulus for most materials. What does this mean? Does this mean that it is easier to change shape of a fixed body by applying force than ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Is stress a property only relevant on surfaces?

I saw that, $$dF=\sigma \cdot dS$$ Where $dF$ is the differential force, $\sigma$ is the stress tensor, and $dS$ is the differential surface. This equation confuses me a bit. I'm under the ...
2
votes
1answer
473 views

How to determine plastic strain rate

Equivalent plastic strain rate is defined as $$ \dot{\bar{\epsilon}}=\sqrt{\frac{2}{3}\dot{\epsilon_{ij}}^{p}\dot{\epsilon_{ij}}^{p} } $$ Where, $ \dot{\bar{\epsilon}}$ is equivalent plastic strain ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Efficiency of Bicycle Pedalling

Consider a bicycle with multiple gears. Suppose that you are in a starting position with someone holding your bike upright (so when you start there's no issue with clipping in etc). It's well-known ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Why does shape of elements matter in finite elements analysis? [closed]

I have used FEA for a couple of years now, but using it and using it correctly are two different things, safety factor is not the solution to everything. I have the feeling I won't be using it right ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Why is $dL = L d\epsilon$?

Let's say there's a random elastic material. It's length is $L$ and it's tensile strain $\epsilon= (L-L_0)/L_0$ Now, when one pulls on it the following is true: $dW_{tot}=FdL =\sigma AdL=\sigma A L ...