Eli Burstein Lecture in Materials Science: "Jamming by Design"

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 15:00
Heinrich Jaeger (Chicago)

In materials science, high performance is typically associated with structural regularity and order. This holds for traditional solids such as crystals as well as for many types of nanoscale devices. However, there are circumstances where disorder can be harnessed to achieve performance not possible with approaches based on regularity. Recent research has shown opportunities specifically for soft matter. There, the phenomenon of jamming leads to unique emergent behavior that enables disordered, amorphous systems to switch reversibly between solid-like rigidity and fluid-like plasticity. This makes it possible to envision materials that can change stiffness or even shape adaptively. This lecture reviews some of the progress in this direction, discussing examples where jamming has been explored from micro to macro scales in colloidal systems, suspensions, granular-materials-enabled soft robotics, and architecture. We focus in particular on how the jammed state can be tailored by controlling particle level properties and discuss recent ideas that provide important first steps toward design of specifically targeted jamming behavior.

Towne Building (220 S 33rd Street), Heilmeier Hall Room 100
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