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Zhigang Suo's blog

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Threads of polymers

In discussing with colleagues and giving lectures, it helps to keep certain basic facts in mind. Let's gather threads on such facts for polymers. I'll keep each fact basic, and each thread short.


I have tweeted several such threads.

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Expand the Web of Mechanics and Mechanicians on Twitter

Quite a few of mechnicians are active a Twitter. There we interact with one another, and with broad communities. Here are several mechanicians active on Twitter:

Markus Buehler, MIT

John Dolbow, Duke

Alain Goriely, Oxford

Grace Gu, Berkeley

Gareth McKinley, MIT

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Fatigue-Resistant Soft Materials

In this episode of Soft Robotics Podcast, the host Marwa Eldiwiny and I discussed our recent Science paper on fatigue-resistant hydrogel and elastomer. We talked about tanglemer, a polymer in which entanglements greatly outnumber crosslinks.

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One hundred years of toughness

The year 2021 marks the centennial of the publication of paper, The Phenomena of Rupture and Flow in Solids, by Griffith. To fracture or to flow, that is the question. The question has been asked and answered in so many ways, which are recounted and celebrated in this Twitter thread:

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My ongoing thread of tweets about the development of hydrogels

You can read tweets without a Twitter account. But if you wish to follow conversations, or start your own, you will need your own Twitter account.


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Twitter is an open-access publication platform

Join us to create a web of mechanics and mechanicians on Twitter. Here are my reasons and how to get started.

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A tweet is a publication

I ask each member in my group to set up a Twitter account using his or her real name. Here are my reasons.

iMechanica and Twitter are two networks. A dual user is an interlink between the two networks.

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Ions, electrons, and ionotronics

I’m enormously pleased that the video of my ⁦iCanX Talk on 15 May 2020 is now placed on YouTube, as well as on Thank Alice ZHANG for creating this wonderland. In preparing the talk, I discovered a new equation: iCanX = ions can do everything. The last slide of the talk lists further readings and watchings, most of which the talk did not cover. The field is full of chaotic energy.

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Video lectures of interest to mechanicians

Please make a link in the comment section if you find other video lectures related to mechanics.

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What a small world!

Daniel Suo sent me a graph of my academic tree, which he generated on the basis of the information on Mathematics Genealogy Project, using a code.

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Advances in the mechanics of soft materials: elastic dissipaters and topological adhesion

This afternoon I gave a Harvard Applied Mechanics Colloquium. Here is the abstract, along with the slides.  The slides themselves just serve as an outline of ideas.  You can find original papers on our group website


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Singular value decomposition of a homogeneous deformation

I am teaching advanced elasticity this semester. I have just written a google doc on my lecture on singular value decomposition of a homogeneous deformation. The PDF file of the doc is attached below

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Basic algorithm of thermodynamics (BAT)

I have just taught an undergraduate course on thermodyanmics and written up my lectures as a book. The book is posted as a google doc. If you cannot access the google doc, here is a PDF file of the book. The following paragraphs describe my approach. I hope to hear about your experience with thermodynamics. Please leave your comments below. Please help me hear from more people by forwarding this post.

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Recent advances in soft materials

I attach the slides of my talks at last week’s MRS meeting in Boston on two topics:

  • Fatigue-resistant stretchable materials

  • Integrated soft materials

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An introduction to thermodynamics

I will be teaching undergraduate thermodynamics in the Fall 2019. I am writing a google doc for the lectures and problems.

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Flaw sensitivity

I now include this paper in my course on fracture mechanics.

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Chemical bond

The two slides intend to show the quantum mechancal origin of the surface energy.  The slides suplement a course on Fracture Mechanics.

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Chemical bond

The two slides intend to show the quantum mechancal origin of the surface energy.  The slides suplement a course on Fracture Mechanics.

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Recipe for catastrophe

Last year we published a paper titled “Electromechanical Catastrophe”.  I am planning to give a lecture on this topic in my course on Advanced Elasticity.  The mathematics of catastrophe is old, but can be used more widely.

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Harvard University Tenure-track faculty position in Bioelectronics

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences seeks applicants for a position at the tenure-track level in Advanced Bioelectronics, with an expected start date of July 1, 2018.

We seek candidates who have a strong research record in the area of advanced bioelectronics, optics, or magnetics, including novel classes of materials and devices, for use in biomedical applications.

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Thermodynamics in thirty-some slides

I am teaching Advanced Elasticity again.  Thermodynamics is involved in nontrivial ways in several topics, such as entropic elasticity and swelling hydrogels.

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Input-output economics

These notes are a part of the notes on linear algebra.

In lecture, I have been using this google doc, which contains more tables.

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Sankey Diagram. Energy flow charts of the US and China

This post is a part of my notes on linear algebra.

A Sankey diagram is a visual display of the flow of a scalar.  In a Sankey diagram, the width of each branch of the flow is proportional to the magnitude of the scalar.

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What's That Stuff

A few years ago I bought a Chinese book titled 你身边的化学.  The book contains articles about chemistry in everyday life.  The authors collected these articles from magazines and websites, and translated them into Chinese.  In particular, the authors mentioned a column, called “What’s That Stuff”, in Chemical & Engineering News.

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Google Translate has been greatly enhanced by machine learning

Here is a long article from New York Times.  I have just tried some English-Chinese translation.  The improvement is dramatic.  Will machine learning affect mechanics.or materials discovery?


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