Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-042508-150419

Document Typedissertation
Author NameRichardson, Casey Lyndale
TitleSome Problems in the Mathematics of Fracture: Paths From Front Kinetics and a Level Set Method
DepartmentMathematical Sciences
  • Christopher Larsen, Advisor
  • Gilles Francfort, Committee Member
  • Michael Ortiz, Committee Member
  • Konstantin Lurie, Committee Member
  • Marcus Sarkis, Committee Member
  • Keywords
  • variational fracture crack fronts level set
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2008-04-21
    Availability unrestricted


    This dissertation presents results for two separate problems, both in the context of variational fracture models. The first problem involved developing and analyzing models of fracture in which we modeled the energy dissipated by crack growth as concentrated on the front of the crack. While many engineering models of fracture are based on a notion of crack front, there had not been a rigorous definition. We present the first work in this area, which includes a natural weak definition of crack front and front speed, a model of fracture whose evolution is described at the crack front, and a relaxation result that shows that these front based dissipations are all effectively equivalent to a Griffith-type dissipation. The second problem involved the computation of stationary points for Mumford-Shah and fracture using a level set method. Our method improves on existing techniques in that it can handle tips in the singular set and can find minimizers that previous techniques are unable to resolve.

  • Casey_Richardson_Dissertation.pdf
  • Casey_Richardson_Dissertation_Signatures.pdf

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