Reflection and Refraction of Flexural Waves at Geometric Boundaries

reflection_refraction

We present a theory of flexural wave propagation on elastic shells having nontrivial geometry and develop an analogy to geometric optics. The transport of momentum within the shell itself is anisotropic due to the curvature, and as such complex classical effects such as birefringence are generically found. We determine the equations of reflection and refraction of such waves at boundaries between different local geometries, showing that waves are totally internally reflected, especially at boundaries between regions of positive and negative Gaussian curvature. We verify these effects by using finite element simulations and discuss the ramifications of these effects for the statistical mechanics of thin curved materials.

A. A. Evans and A. J. Levine, Phys, Rev. Lett., 111 038101 (2013) pdf SI

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