Theoretical Physics

30 November 2016
Time: 15:00 to 16:00
Location: EC Stoner 8.62

Theoretical Physics Seminar: Suzanne Fielding (Durham)

Complex flows of complex fluids

After a pedagogical introduction to the rheology (deformation and flow 
properties) of complex fluids and soft materials, we discuss recent 
research concerning viscoelastic instabilities in these materials, where 
an initially homogeneous flow field gives way to a spatially more 
complicated one. We focus particularly on extensional flow protocols and 
present new results for an age-dependent switching between two distinct 
modes of failure in disordered soft "glassy" materials subject to 
extensional deformations. Our calculations predict a smooth, liquid-like 
failure mode in young samples, and a more sudden, solid-like failure mode 
in old samples. This is the first instance, of which we are aware, in 
which the physics of a material's mode of failure is predicted to be 
governed by a switch between two distinct modes of instability, set simply 
by the age of the sample.



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