Mechanics of slender structures

The Mechanics of Slender Structures lab at Boston University aims to answer the question, "How do objects change shape?" Slender structures are all around us, appearing as plant roots, carbon nanotubes, airplane wings, blood vessels, spider silk, contact lenses and human hair. The mechanics of these thin objects are fascinating because small forces can cause large shape changes -- hair will curl and tangle, skin will wrinkle, soda cans will crumple and spider webs will elongate to several times their original length. The researchers are interested in understanding and controlling the mechanics, physics and geometry of these thin structures, and their lab aims to harness material and structural instability for advanced functionality.

Provided by Boston University

Runtime: 2:19

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