We're sorry but this page doesn't work properly without JavaScript enabled. Please enable it to continue.

Spinning top-ology: Order, disorder and topology in mechanical gyro-materials and fluids

Formal Metadata

Spinning top-ology: Order, disorder and topology in mechanical gyro-materials and fluids
Title of Series
Number of Parts
CC Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International:
You are free to use, copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in unchanged form for any legal and non-commercial purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
Release Date2017

Content Metadata

Subject Area
Geometry, topology and broken symmetry often play a powerful role in determining the organization and properties of materials. A recent example is the discovery that the excitation spectra of materials -- be they electronic, optical, or mechanical -- may be topologically non-trivial. I will explore the use of `spinning tops' to explore this physics. In particular I will discuss an experimental and theoretical study of a simple kind of active meta-material – coupled gyroscopes – that naturally encodes non-trivial topology in its vibrational spectrum. These materials have topologically protected edge modes which we observe in experiment. Crucially, the geometry of the underlying lattice controls the presence of time reversal symmetry that is essential to the non-trivial topology of the spectrum. We exploit this to control the chirality of the edge modes by simply deforming the lattice. Moving beyond ordered lattices we show that amorphous gyroscopic networks are naturally topological. We construct them from arbitrary point sets -- including hyperuniform, jammed, quasi-crystalline and uniformly random -- and control their topology through simple, local decorations.