Local crack branching as a mechanism for instability in dynamic fracture

Eran Sharon*, Steven P. Gross, Jay Fineberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

278 Scopus citations


The motion of a crack in dynamic fracture has been shown to be governed by a dynamical instability causing oscillations in its velocity and structure on the fracture surface. We present experimental evidence indicating that the mechanism for instability is attempted local crack branching. At the instability onset, a crack will locally change its topology and sprout small, microscopic side branches. The trajectories of these local branches are independent of the crack velocity and exhibit scaling behavior. A connection between microscopic and macroscopic crack branching is established.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5096-5099
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - 1995


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