We measure the response of cylindrical shells to poking and identify a stability landscape, which fully characterizes the stability of perfect shells and imperfect ones in the case where a single defect dominates. We show that the landscape of stability is independent of the loading protocol and the poker geometry. Our results suggest that the complex stability of shells reduces to a low dimensional description. Tracking ridges and valleys of this landscape defines a natural phase-space coordinates for describing the stability of shells.
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