Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 125, Issue 5–6, pp 1065–1092 | Cite as

Geometry and Elasticity of Strips and Flowers

  • M. Marder
  • N. Papanicolaou


We solve several problems that involve imposing metrics on surfaces. The problem of a strip with a linear metric gradient is formulated in terms of a Lagrangian similar to those used for spin systems. We are able to show that the low energy state of long strips is a twisted helical state like a telephone cord. We then extend the techniques used in this solution to two–dimensional sheets with more general metrics. We find evolution equations and show that when they are not singular, a surface is determined by knowledge of its metric, and the shape of the surface along one line. Finally, we provide numerical evidence by minimizing a suitable energy functional that once these evolution equations become singular, either the surface is not differentiable, or else the metric deviates from the target metric.


pattern formation elasticity metric surfaces differential geometry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Marder
    • 1
  • N. Papanicolaou
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Department of Physics The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Crete, and Research Center of CreteHeraklionGreece

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