NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ931785
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Euler Strut: A Mechanical Analogy for Dynamics in the Vicinity of a Critical Point
Bobnar, Jaka; Susman, Katarina; Parsegian, V. Adrian; Rand, Peter R.; Cepic, Mojca; Podgornik, Rudolf
European Journal of Physics, v32 n4 p1007-1018 Jul 2011
An anchored elastic filament (Euler strut) under an external point load applied to its free end is a simple model for a second-order phase transition. In the static case, a load greater than the critical load causes a Euler buckling instability, leading to a change in the filament's shape. The analysis of filament dynamics with an external point load at its end shows that when approaching the critical end-load, the period of such an inverted pendulum diverges in a fashion analogous to a "soft mode" critical slowing down in, for example, a ferroelectric phase transition of displacive type. We thus show that an advanced concept of solid state physics, i.e. "soft mode" dynamics and critical slowing down, observable in a variety of second-order phase transitions, can be actualized in this simple mechanical system. The variable loads attached to a vertical spring allow for an experimental implementation and quantitative measurements as an illustration of this analogy. (Contains 7 footnotes and 4 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A