Spontaneous buckling of elastic sheets with a prescribed non-Euclidean metric

Efi Efrati, Yael Klein, Hillel Aharoni, Eran Sharon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We present an experimental study of the three-dimensional (3D) configurations that result from non-uniform lateral growth/shrinking of thin elastic sheets. We build gel sheets that undergo inducible differential shrinking. The non-uniform shrinking prescribes a non-Euclidean metric on a disc, and thus a non-zero Gaussian curvature. To minimize their elastic energy the free sheets form three-dimensional structures that approximate the imposed metric. We show how both large scale buckling and wrinkling-type structures can be generated, depending on the nature of possible embeddings of the imposed metric in Euclidean space.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1-2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by GIF, BSF and the EEC MechPlant NEST.


  • Buckling
  • Elasticity
  • Gaussian curvature
  • Metric
  • Thin plates


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