May 2020 issue of the American Journal of PhysicsMay 2020 Issue,

Volume 88, No. 5


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

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.



Editorial: Blurbs, a new tool for AJP readers by Richard Price. DOI: 10.1119/10.0001040


2020 Oersted Medal Presentation: If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door—My path to active dissemination of active learning by David R. Sokoloff. DOI: American Journal of Physics 88, 343 (2020);


A simple experimental system to illustrate the nonlinear properties of a linear chain under compression by Denis Weaire, Ali Irannezhad, Adil Mughal and Stefan Hutzler. DOI: American Journal of Physics 88, 347 (2020);

The Hamilton–Jacobi equation: An alternative approach by Bahram Houchmandzadeh. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000781

The effects of projectile mass on ballistic pendulum displacement by James C. Sanders. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000384

Dynamics of two freely rotating dipoles by Peter T. Haugen and Boyd F. Edwards. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000625

Games of life by David A. Faux, Mayank Shah and Christopher Knapp. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000666

The interplay of damping and amplitude in the nonlinear pendulum by Peter A. Braza. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000630

Analyzing the structure of basic quantum knowledge for instruction by Giacomo Zuccarini. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000835

Systematic study of the starburst effect by Haokai Zhang, Yuhua Huang and Gaolong Zhang. DOI: /10.1119/10.0000902


Introduction to molecular dynamics simulations by Katharina Vollmayr-Lee. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000654>


How to Walk on Water and Climb up Walls: Animal Movement and the Robots of the Future by Hassan Masoud. DOI: 10.1119/10.0000277


American Journal of Physics 88, 424 (2020);

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