Talk: Museum of Science
Break it ’til You Make It: Engineering Shapes and Patterns
Gordon Current Science & Technology Center Stage, Blue Wing, Level 1
Saturday, August 26; 12:30 pm
Abstract: Not long ago, a structure losing stability led to failure and disaster. Instability makes rigid materials useless, so it was something that engineers had to design around. Soft materials, like rubbers, plastics, and gels, however, can bounce back from instability. The resilience of soft materials has enabled scientists to rethink the role of stability in the design of new materials. Douglas Holmes, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Boston University, explores the instabilities that cause skin to wrinkle, roots to tangle, toy poppers to jump, and we will discover how engineers design wearable electronics, make smart needles, and create ultra lightweight mechanisms.