Breaking spaghetti
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B. Audoly
S. Neukirch

How bent spaghetti break

Analysis

The catapult experiment can be understood from an analysis of bending waves. We found that, just after release, the curvature increases near the newly freed end. A burst of curvature increase then travels along the rod. The full solution shows three regimes : a boundary layer, followed by a self-similar solution, and finally superposition of waves caused by reflections. This analysis explains the observed delayed breaking.


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