A simple experimental system to illustrate the nonlinear properties of a linear chain under compression

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-352
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number5
Early online date21 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2020
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A linear chain of spheres confined by a transverse harmonic potential experiences localized buckling under compression. We present simple experiments using gas bubbles in a liquid-filled tube to demonstrate this phenomenon. Our findings are supported semi-quantitatively by numerical simulations. In particular, we demonstrate the existence of a critical value of compression for the onset of buckling.