Energy dissipation in dynamic fracture

Eran Sharon, Steven P. Gross, Jay Fineberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Measurements in PMMA of both the energy flux into the tip of a moving crack and the total surface area created via the microbranching instability indicate that the instability is the main mechanism for energy dissipation by a moving crack in brittle, amorphous material. Beyond the instability onset, the rate of fracture surface creation is proportional to the energy flux into the crack. At high velocities microbranches create nearly an order of magnitude larger fracture surface than smooth cracks. This mechanism provides an explanation for why the theoretical limiting velocity of a crack is never realized.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2117-2120
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1996


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