Surface fracture in viscoelastic fluids

Andrew Belmonte, Penn State

I will present recent experimental studies from the Pritchard Lab, on the response of the free surface of a viscoelastic micellar fluid to sudden events: the impact of a falling sphere, and the cutting motion of a cylinder. The cavity formed behind these obstacles undergoes a transition from smooth to fractured, and experimentally obtained nondimensional scaling indicates possible underlying mechanisms, which should lead to mathematical models.