When a sheet of paper is folded along a closed curve as depicted in the image above it buckles dramatically. When cut, it collapses and lies flat. Physicist Christian Santangelo and colleagues have developed a mechanical model to explain the shape of an elastic sheet folded along a curve that incorporates the geometries inherent in the folded structure. The researchers are combining physical chemistry, physics, origami mathematics and artistic expression to develop modular, origami components, such as folds and vertices, which can be assembled into more complex folding structures and ultimately into a range of new materials. Learn more.
Photo credit: Christian Santangelo Research Group