Popsicle-Stick Cobra Wave

Condensed Matter journal club

Popsicle-Stick Cobra Wave

  • Event time: 11:30am until 12:30pm
  • Event date: 3rd November 2017
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: 2511

Event details

The cobra wave is a popular physical phenomenon arising from the explosion of a metastable grillage

made of popsicle sticks. The sticks are expelled from the mesh by releasing the elastic energy stored during

the weaving of the structure. Here we analyze both experimentally and theoretically the propagation of the

wave front depending on the properties of the sticks and the pattern of the mesh. We show that its velocity

and its shape are directly related to the recoil imparted to the structure by the expelled sticks. Finally, we

show that the cobra wave can only exist for a narrow range of parameters constrained by gravity and rupture

of the sticks.

Event resources

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Given the diversity of research in the CM group, chosen topics vary widely. We tend to stick to high-impact journals - Nature, Science, PNAS and PRL have been popular - but this is not prescriptive..

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