Discontinuum Mechanics

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2:30pm - 3:45pm

115 Goodwin Hall

Dr. James Hanna
Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics
Virginia Tech


The mechanics of discontinuities in flexible structures is an open research area with many challenging and counterintuitive problems.  This talk considers dynamic contacts between flexible and rigid bodies, as may be found in everyday life, textile processing, musical instruments, or mooring cables for offshore structures.  I will discuss one very simple example, the process of picking up and laying down a one-dimensional flexible object.  A surprising theoretical result follows from momentum and energy balance and a few basic assumptions.  The relevance of action principles and symmetries in such systems will be briefly discussed.


James Hanna joined the department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech as an assistant professor in 2013, after a few years of impersonating a soft matter physicist, a short stint in low-Re fluids, and graduate studies working with metallic materials.  His interests span theoretical and experimental classical mechanics.  He is currently thinking about discontinuities, action principles, dynamical equilibria of flexible bodies, anisotropic rod mechanics, materials processing, nonlinear oscillators, and a few other things.