Report

Scale-Free Intermittent Flow in Crystal Plasticity

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  26 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5777, pp. 1188-1190
DOI: 10.1126/science.1123889

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

Under stress, crystals irreversibly deform through complex dislocation processes that intermittently change the microscopic material shape through isolated slip events. These underlying processes can be revealed in the statistics of the discrete changes. Through ultraprecise nanoscale measurements on nickel microcrystals, we directly determined the size of discrete slip events. The sizes ranged over nearly three orders of magnitude and exhibited a shock-and-aftershock, earthquake-like behavior over time. Analysis of the events reveals power-law scaling between the number of events and their magnitude, or scale-free flow. We show that dislocated crystals are a model system for studying scale-free behavior as observed in many macroscopic systems. In analogy to plate tectonics, smooth macroscopic-scale crystalline glide arises from the spatial and time averages of disruptive earthquake-like events at the nanometer scale.

View Full Text

Related Content