User login

You are here

Mike Ciavarella's blog

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Europe’s research system must change: Nature Vol 452|24 April 2008

Dear Imechanica friend

 a recent Nature Commentary has generated a lot of interest, particularly in Europe. Maybe it is of interest, also in response to Grand Challenges for Engineering?

I suggest some lines: 

Mike Ciavarella's picture

ENERGY IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE - Italy Joins European Nuclear Power Revival

Speaking of Grand Challenges, why we never talk of Energy in Imechanica? There are certainly mechanical implications. And Energy is top of the list at the project.,1518,druck-554969,00.html 

Italy Joins European Nuclear Power Revival



Italy Joins European Nuclear Power Revival

Mike Ciavarella's picture

A seminar at Paris VI inst. d'alembert - One, no one, and one hundred thousand crack propagation equations: thursday June 5th. 1

Prof Jean -Baptiste Leblond (

kindly invited me to give a seminar at Inst. d'alembert - Paris VI

Thursday June 5th. 11h30am --- I take the chance to invite a few people:

One, no one, and one hundred thousand crack propagation equations: have we learned the lesson of Barenblatt and Botvina?

Mike Ciavarella's picture

A wonderful collection of quotes from Leonardo da Vinci, each fantastic

A well-spent day brings happy
Leonardo da Vinci

All our knowledge has its origins
in our perceptions.
Leonardo da Vinci

Although nature
commences with reason and ends in experience it is
necessary for
us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience
from this to proceed to investigate the reason.
Leonardo da

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to
authority is not using
his intelligence; he is just using his
Leonardo da Vinci

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Does a scientist who has had three patents in the past five years, but only three papers, each cited just three times, deserve m

From the blogosphere

Nature 453, x (2008). doi:10.1038/7196xc

Does a scientist who has had three patents in the past five years,
but only three papers, each cited just three times, deserve more
recognition than one with five Nature papers and 1,000 citations? 


Can anyone download the full paper I have no access to Nature!!!! 

Mike Ciavarella's picture

A crucial text from Jim Rice of his Timoshenko's medal speach.

It is difficult to reminisce over my own formative years without sensing
the sharp contrast with the far more difficult situation faced by the
young generation today. My generation, and especially my own narrow age
range within that generation, had things easier, I think, than any group
before or after. I entered Lehigh for undergraduate studies one year
after Sputnik. It was a time when support for science and engineering
was enlarging fast, when opportunities were abundant. There were plenty

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Why Google SCHOLAR will stop this oligopoly of publishers

And read why Google Scholar will silently stop this crazyness


Vol: 74, Issue: 2, February 2008


pp. 273 - 294

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Leonardo da Vinci the precursor of Publish AND Perish ---- not Publish OR Perish -- the present model is dead!

Dear Imechanica friends

  I recently pointed to a very interesting paper by Fabio Casati and collegues from Trento University in Italy.


as opposed to the current mania to PUBLISH and killing yourself with writing papers.

Mike Ciavarella's picture

LiquidPub Project: Scientific Publications meet the Web, a project from University of Trento

Liquid Publications: Scientific Publications meet the Web

Some very interesting projects from University of Trento. Changing the way scientific knowledge is produced, disseminated, evaluated, and consumed

Mike Ciavarella's picture

creating a web site and forum for Elsevier journals Editors and Board members

dear Elsevier Editors and boards

  after I submitted to the Harvard blog

"My letter of resignation from the board of International Journal of Solids and Structures"
Submitted by Mike Ciavarella on Tue, 2008-05-20 14:55.

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Perhaps we should make a useful exercise for iMechanicians

Zhigang, about defining "esthablished", I am worried people may consider arbitrary your "definition" -- not me, you can do as you like!

But look that even somebody as weak as me could be in the list you propose!!, and for different criteria! Only Nix and Hutchinson really stand high in the lists as "esthablished". Incidentally, congratulations: the most cited paper of Hutchinson is that with you.

1) It may be useful to list the h index of all the imechanica users

Mike Ciavarella's picture

More replies to Yavari, fractals, strongly emotional disputes, and what really leads to Nobel prize

Dear Yavari

I have promised more replies on Mandelbrot, fractals, strongly emotive discussions in journals, and here is a coincise statement, which I take from a Nobel prize, prematurely passed away last year.  I think it has a lot to teach (including the kind of attitude that leads to Nobel prize, i.e. close to no human weakness), you will recognize the real name of the "Caesar" in this book is somebody with a 58 pages CV on his web site, most likely.

For a better idea of fractals, read please the other attachment.



Mike Ciavarella's picture

are there platforms similar to iMechanica? should we list them all?

I think it would be useful to collect a list of most useful sites, to start with iMechanica-look-alike.  Not exactly similar but a good site for CFD is  This incidentally suggests us some "ways" to improve iMechanica.  (see my other blog PROPOSAL for iMechanica node/2996)

Mike Ciavarella's picture

a review of a paper by HD Bui found in the internet !!

dear iMechanica friends

I came across a review of a paper by HD Bui who was somewhere in the internet, and I find it is very interesting. I could even have written this review myself !!  I don't think the reviewer exaggerates....


Mike Ciavarella's picture

Rail corrugation: ”one hundred years of solitude”? or a true enigma?

You may remember that I promised some time ago to discuss each of the topics mentioned by Ken Johnson in his Timoshenko Medal speach. Here I take rail corrugation. Rail corrugation has been noticed at least for 100 years, but (particularly short pitch one in the range 20÷80 mm) has been considered an enigma because measured corrugation wavelength did not relate well with wear instabilitymodels.

Mike Ciavarella's picture


Hello imechanica users: I launch a few ideas. Can we improve imechanica stealing ideas from successful web systems like google, amazon, wikipedia, myspace, youtube? Taking the best of the various worlds to improve our imechanica?

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Italian stress analysis AIAS conference in Ischia --- call for papers Sept.

dear Imechanica users,

a wonderful location for our annual italian conference in stress analysis -- see It is organized by our collegues in Università di Napoli, Prof. Renato Esposito. Attached the call for papers in PDF, and more info are below.

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Does anyone know a collection of Lennard Jones potential material constants??

I am trying to find out the theoretical adhesive strength limit of a few materials, or more precisely the ratio adhesive strength limit to elastic modulus. I think this is after all part of the Lennard-Jones constants potential - theoretical adhesive strength limit is simply the maximum of the curve.

Mike Ciavarella's picture

Contact mechanics of rough surfaces: is Persson's theory better than Greenwood & Willamson?

A recent string of papers originated from Persson's paper in the physics literature contain a number of interesting new ideas, but compare, of the many theories for randomly rough surfaces, only Persson's and Bush et al, BGT. These papers often assume the original Greenwood and Williamson (GW) theory [1] to be inaccurate, but unfortunately do not test it, assuming BGT to be its better version. The original GW however is, I will show below, still the best paper and method today (not surprisingly, as not many papers have the level of 1300 citations), containing generally less assumptions than any other model, including the constitutive equation which does not need to be elastic! I just submitted this Letter to the Editor: On "Contact mechanics of real vs. randomly rough surfaces: A Green's function molecular dynamics study" by C. Campaña and M. H. Müser, EPL, 77 (2007) 38005. C. Campaña and M. H. Müser also make several questionable statements, including a dubious interpretation of their own results, and do not even cite the original GW paper; hence, we find useful to make some comments.


Subscribe to RSS - Mike Ciavarella's blog

Recent comments

More comments


Subscribe to Syndicate