Origin of the microbranching instability in rapid cracks

Tamar Goldman Boué, Gil Cohen, Jay Fineberg

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30 Scopus citations


The origin of the microbranching instability is a long-standing unresolved issue in the fracture of brittle amorphous materials. We investigate the onset of this instability by measuring the real-time dynamics and symmetries of the strain fields produced by rapid tensile cracks in brittle gels. We find that once a simple tensile crack is subjected to shear perturbations, cracks undergo the microbranching instability above a finite velocity-dependent threshold. We further reveal a distinct relation between the microbranching and the oscillatory instabilities of rapid cracks.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number054301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2015

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© 2015 American Physical Society.


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