We determine which helical equilibria of an isotropic Kirchhoff elastic rod with clamped ends are stable and which are unstable. Although the set of all helical equilibria is parametrized by four variables, with an additional fifth parameter determined by the rod's material, we show that only three of these five parameters are needed to distinguish between stable and unstable equilibria. We also show that the closure of the set of stable equilibria is star convex. With these results, we are able to compute and visualize the boundary between stable and unstable helices for the first time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number088001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 21 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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