Breaking spaghetti
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B. Audoly
S. Neukirch

How bent spaghetti break

Comparison: experiments vs. theory

The superposition (with no adjustable parameter) of simulation and fast camera movies show excellent agreement. Breaking occurs at a point of predicted maximum curvature, which validates our scenario: delayed breaking is caused by a burst of curvature increase traveling along the rod, which we have described analytically.


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In the spatio-temporal diagram for breaking events below, the white circles, diamonds and triangles are breaking events recorded with a fast camera in 25 experiments, corresponding to different pasta radii. When rescaled coordinates are used, the experimental breaking events accumulate onto well defined points, which can be predicted by an analysis of the interference patterns of the traveling burst of curvature increase with its reflection on the clamped edge. This theoretical prediction is shown by the shaded regions (loci of local curvature records). There is no adjustable parameter.