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Spiral Patterns in the Packing of Flexible Structures L. Boue, M. Adda-Bedia, A. Boudaoud,* D. Cassani, Y. Couder, A. Eddi, and M. Trejo
 

Summary: Spiral Patterns in the Packing of Flexible Structures
L. Boue´, M. Adda-Bedia, A. Boudaoud,* D. Cassani, Y. Couder, A. Eddi, and M. Trejo
Laboratoire de Physique Statistique de l'Ecole Normale Supe´rieure, 24 Rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
(Received 20 July 2006; published 20 October 2006)
Spiral patterns are found to be a generic feature in close-packed elastic structures. We describe model
experiments of compaction of quasi-1D sheets into quasi-2D containers that allow simultaneous
quantitative measurements of mechanical forces and observation of folded configurations. Our theoretical
approach shows how the interplay between elasticity and geometry leads to a succession of bifurcations
responsible for the emergence of such patterns. Both experimental forces and shapes are also reproduced
without any adjustable parameters.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.166104 PACS numbers: 68.55.ÿa, 46.32.+x, 46.65.+g
Illustrations of tightly packed flexible structures abound
in nature from plant leaves in buds [1], insect wings in
cocoons [2], DNA in viral capsids [3], chromatin in cell
nuclei [4] to crumpled sheets [5­14] and rods [15­17].
This situation is often a consequence of the structures' own
growth within a container or of a decrease in the available
volume. In most cases the geometrical arrangement of the
folding plays a central role in ensuring a safe deployment
[1,4]. Besides, the elastic properties of these confined

  

Source: Adda-Bedia, Mokhtar - Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Département de Physique, École Normale Supérieure
Boudaoud, Arezki - Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Département de Physique, École Normale Supérieure

 

Collections: Physics