to be announced

CM ICTP - Trieste cm at
Tue Jul 1 14:10:55 CEST 2008


INFORMAL SEMINAR  on  Statistical Physics

Thursday, 3 July    -    11:00 a.m.

Seminar Room,  Leonardo Bldg.- first floor


M. ALAVA   ( Helsinki University of Technology )

" Statistical physics in fracture "


In this talk I review two current problems where statistical mechanics 
and fracture meet (see Adv. Phys. 55, 349 (2006).  The first is the 
so-called size effect, which measures the strength of a sample as a 
function of its size.  This can be addressed both in the traditional 
FSS sense - becoming an extremal statistics problem - and in the 
presence of one defect, a notch (Phys. Rev. Lett. 100,  055502 (2008)). 
  I present some recent results on the application of scaling theory and 
extensive simulations of simple fracture models to illustrate the 
fundamental role of disorder here.  The second problem is the creep of 
a fracture line. I discuss experiments done at HUT using the so-called 
peel-in-nip geometry to split paper in two (Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 145504 
(2007)) in the creep setup, or under a constant external force.  The 
scenario can be used to test fundamental results in the theory of 
elastic manifolds in random media, in particular the depinning of lines 
with long-range elasticity.  Listening to the dynamics via acoustic 
emission measurements allows to look at the temporal dynamics with high 

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