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54
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
27k 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
703 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
258 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
6answers
38k 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?
5
votes
4answers
454 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.
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
254 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
689 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
3answers
556 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
4k 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
2answers
77 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
311 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
807 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
1answer
95 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
2answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
310 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
1k 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
549 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
43 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
3answers
109 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
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
254 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
202 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
79 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
433 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
422 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
434 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
118 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
450 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
183 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
119 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
732 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
481 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
1k 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
314 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
2answers
141 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
106 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
167 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

stress work of uniformly deforming continuum

I have a volume which is deforming (using explicit time-integration scheme) uniformly with velocity gradient $L$ and stress tensor $\sigma$. I would like to determine work done by the volume ...
2
votes
1answer
40 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
2answers
52 views

Bending along an axis for strength?

I read about this law / property a couple of months back, but I've forgotten what it's name was and I can't seem to find it by Googling. I was hoping someone could give me the name for this property. ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

How much weight would I need to put on the end of a tube to break it?

Say I have a tube with a circular cross-section made from some material (for an example, I'd like to use acrylic). I support it horizontally from one end and hang a weight from the other end. How ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Why eigenvector points to principal stress plane?

I can represent a tensor by a matrix. Suppose we are talking about a 2nd order tensor, and the matrix is therefore 3x3. If I find one eigenvector of that matrix; that vector represents normal vector ...
2
votes
1answer
281 views

Hookes law and objective stress rates

Often, in papers presenting updated Lagrangian simulation methods for solid dynamics, the following procedure for updating the (Cauchy) stress tensor is presented: First, the Cauchy stress tensor is ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

buckling of tube - shell thickness vs. momentum of inertia optimum

is there any simple formula (perhabs semi emperical, or aproximatively derived model) for buckling of tube under axial compression load given its crossection and wall thickness? ( and naturraly ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Is it possible that Cauchy stress be asymmetric?

According to conservation of linear momentum and angular momentum, one can derive that Cauchy stress tensor is symmetric and hence has only 6 independent components. Is it possible that, when breaking ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Stress in a thick-walled pressure vessel

I can find many references that give the stress in the walls of a pressure vessel for spheres and tubes, but they all seem to be limited to a thin-wall approximation. I'll limit my writing here to ...