Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Was da Vinci wrong? New research shows friction and fracture are interrelated, with implications for earthquakes

Date:
July 8, 2014
Source:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
Overturning conventional wisdom stretching all the way to Leonardo da Vinci, new research shows that how things break (fracture) and how things slide (friction) are closely interrelated. The breakthrough study marks an important advance in understanding friction and fracture, with implications for describing the mechanics that drive earthquakes.

Overturning conventional wisdom stretching all the way to Leonardo da Vinci, new Hebrew University of Jerusalem research shows that how things break (fracture) and how things slide (friction) are closely interrelated. The breakthrough study marks an important advance in understanding friction and fracture, with implications for describing the mechanics that drive earthquakes.

Over 500 years ago, da Vinci described how rough blocks slide over one another, providing the basis for our understanding of friction to this day. The phenomenon of fracture was always considered to be something totally different.

But new research by Prof. Jay Fineberg and his graduate student Ilya Svetlizky, at the Hebrew University's Racah Institute of Physics, has demonstrated that these two seemingly disparate processes of fracture and friction are actually intimately intertwined.

Appearing in the journal Nature, their findings create a new paradigm that's very different from the da Vinci version, and, according to the researchers, give us a new understanding of how earthquakes actually occur.

Fineberg and Svetlizky produced "laboratory earthquakes" showing that the friction caused by the sliding of two contacting blocks can only occur when the connections between the surfaces are first ruptured (that is, fractured or broken) in an orderly, "organized" process that takes place at nearly the speed of sound.

How does this happen? Before any motion can occur, the blocks are connected by interlocking rough contacts that define their interface. In order for motion to occur, these connections have to be broken. This physical process of breaking is called a fracture process. This process is described by the theory of crack propagation, say the researchers, meaning that the stresses (or forces) that exist at the front edge of a crack become highly magnified, even if the overall forces being applied are initially quite small.

"The insights gained from our study provide a new paradigm for understanding friction and give us a new, fundamental description of the mechanics and behavior that drive earthquakes, the sliding of two tectonic blocks within natural faults," says Fineberg. "In this way, we can now understand important processes that are generally hidden kilometers beneath the Earth's surface."

The research was supported by the James S. McDonnell Fund, the European Research Council (grant no. 267256) and the Israel Science Foundation (grant 76/11).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Ilya Svetlizky, Jay Fineberg. Classical shear cracks drive the onset of dry frictional motion. Nature, 2014; 509 (7499): 205 DOI: 10.1038/nature13202
  2. Robert W. Carpick, Roland Bennewitz. Friction: Let it slip. Nature Physics, 2014; 10 (6): 410 DOI: 10.1038/nphys2985

Cite This Page:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Was da Vinci wrong? New research shows friction and fracture are interrelated, with implications for earthquakes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708111137.htm>.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2014, July 8). Was da Vinci wrong? New research shows friction and fracture are interrelated, with implications for earthquakes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708111137.htm
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Was da Vinci wrong? New research shows friction and fracture are interrelated, with implications for earthquakes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708111137.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins