The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Departmental Seminar: Fast motion in folding forms: designing mechanics and dynamics with origami


Monday, November 10, 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm


Christian Santangelo, Associate Professor, Physics Department UMass


Kellogg Room, ELab II



Some plants develop an ability to perform rapid motions (Venus flytraps, exploding Jewelweed seeds, etc.)  even without muscles. They achieve this by manipulating the curvature of tissues to take advantage of the relationship between strains and geometry to trigger rapid conformational changes from one state to another. I will discuss a theoretical framework for designing snapping structures by taking advantage of ideas from origami. In particular, we create shells that can be folded along prescribed curves. Depending on the geometry of those folds, the fold can be actuated continuously or discontinuously through a snap-through transition. Beyond this, I will discuss how elasticity theory modifies this simple geometrical rule.