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You are here: Home / Seminars / Colloquium / Friction: From asperity failure to earthquakes

Friction: From asperity failure to earthquakes

David Kammer (ETH Zürich)
When Nov 28, 2022
from 11:00 to 12:00
Where Salle des Thèses
Attendees David Kammer
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Friction is omnipresent in nature, engineering and our daily lives. We use friction to walk, ride a bike, drive a car, climb a mountain and in many more activities. Friction also causes wear in machines, provides residual strength in cracked structures, and affects small and large earthquakes. Naturally, friction has been studied for a long time, starting with Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago, and continuous to be an active research topic to this day. Despite huge efforts and great progress, a fundamental understanding of friction and its underlying mechanics remains missing. One of the main reasons for this lack of fundamental knowledge is the highly multi-scale and multi-physical nature of friction. A key challenge is to unify observations and understanding from different length and time scales to build a consistent perspective of friction and its governing laws. In this talk, I will provide an overview of friction at various length scales starting from asperities in contact and how they fail, to meso-scale observations of slip fronts propagating along frictional interfaces, up to the geological scale where friction is a key player in the mechanics of earthquakes. I will summarize recent experimental observations and numerical models, and discuss open questions in our current understanding of the fundamental laws of friction.


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