I consider the shape of a deformed elastic shell. Using the fact that the lowest-energy, small deformations are along infinitesimal isometries of the shell's mid-surface, I describe a class of weakly stretching deformations for thin shells based on the Nambu-Goldstone modes associated with those isometries. The main result is an effective theory to describe the diffuse deformations of thin shells that incorporate stretching and bending energies. The theory recovers previous results for the propagation of a "pinch" on a cylinder. A cone, on the other hand, has two length scales governing the persistence of a pinch: one governing the relaxation of the pinch that scales with thickness as a -1/2 power and one that scales with thickness above which deformations again become isometric. These lengths meet at a critical thickness below which low energy deformations again become nearly isometric.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics