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Stratton Hall, 011
Phone: +1-508-831-6124
Fax: +1-508-831-5824

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Christopher Larsen

Many interesting physical phenomena are difficult to pin down mathematically, which is a necessary first step in order to make predictions confidently. This is particularly true in the study of the evolution of defects in materials; for example, predicting the growth and paths of cracks. My research is in applied analysis, and my goals are to formulate mathematically- and physically-reasonable models for these problems, as well as understand the properties of solutions (even proving their existence itself is often a serious problem). At WPI, I involve both graduate and undergraduate students in these projects, who often make important contributions.

Research Interests

  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Calculus of Variations
  • Geometric Measure Theory
  • Applications to Materials Science, especially Fracture Mechanics


  • BS, Carnegie Mellon University, 1989
  • JD, University of Maryland, 1992
  • MS, Carnegie Mellon University, 1994
  • PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, 1996

Featured Publications

  • C. J. Larsen, A new variational principle for cohesive fracture and
    elastoplasticity, Mech. Res. Commun., to appear.
  • C. J. Larsen and V. Slastikov, Dynamic cohesive fracture: models and
    analysis, Math. Models Methods Appl. Sci., to appear.
  • C. J. Larsen, Local minimality and crack prediction in quasi-static
    Griffith fracture evolution, Discrete Contin. Dyn. Syst. Series S 6
    (2013), pp. 121-129.
  • G. Dal Maso and C. J. Larsen, Existence for wave equations on domains with
    arbitrary growing cracks, Rend. Lincei Mat. Appl. 22 (2011), pp. 387-408.
  • A. Braides and C. J. Larsen, Gamma-convergence for stable states and local minimizers, Ann. Scuola Norm. Sup. Pisa Cl. Sci. (5) X (2011), pp. 193-206.


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