Acquisition of inertia by a moving crack

Tamar Goldman*, Ariel Livne, Jay Fineberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


We experimentally investigate the dynamics of "simple" tensile cracks. Within an effectively infinite medium, a crack's dynamics perfectly correspond to inertialess behavior predicted by linear elastic fracture mechanics. Once a crack interacts with waves that it generated at earlier times, this description breaks down. Cracks then acquire inertia and sluggishly accelerate. Crack inertia increases with crack speed v and diverges as v approaches its limiting value. We show that these dynamics are in excellent accord with an equation of motion derived in the limit of an infinite strip.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number114301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - 17 Mar 2010


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