Odd elasticity


A passive solid cannot do work on its surroundings through any quasistatic cycle of deformations. This property places strong constraints on the allowed elastic moduli. In this Article, we show that static elastic moduli altogether absent in passive elasticity can arise from active, non-conservative microscopic interactions. These active moduli enter the antisymmetric (or odd) part of the static elastic modulus tensor and quantify the amount of work extracted along quasistatic strain cycles. In two-dimensional isotropic media, two chiral odd-elastic moduli emerge in addition to the bulk and shear moduli. We discuss microscopic realizations that include networks of Hookean springs augmented with active transverse forces and non-reciprocal active hinges. Using coarse-grained microscopic models, numerical simulations and continuum equations, we uncover phenomena ranging from auxetic behaviour induced by odd moduli to elastic wave propagation in overdamped media enabled by self-sustained active strain cycles. Our work sheds light on the non-Hermitian mechanics of two- and three-dimensional active solids that conserve linear momentum but exhibit a non-reciprocal linear response.

Nature Physics
Anton Souslov
Anton Souslov
Associate Professor (Reader)

I am interested in the theory of soft materials.