Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 8, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Extracting shape from curvature evolution in moving surfaces

Author affiliations


Shape is a crucial geometric property of surfaces, interfaces, and membranes in biology, colloidal and interface science, and many areas of physics. This paper presents theory, simulation and scaling of local shape and curvedness changes in moving surfaces and interfaces, under uniform normal motion, as in phase ordering transitions in liquid crystals. Previously presented measures of shape and curvedness are introduced in quantities and equations used in colloidal science and interfacial transport phenomena to separate shape effects from those of curvedness. Considering in parallel the new shape formalism with the classical curvature formalism, this paper sheds new light on what effects originate only from shape. The new shape evolution equations are solved under uniform normal surface flow. It is found that the solutions obey the so-called “astigmatism equation” fixing the linear relation between the radii of curvature. Astigmatic trajectories in the shape-curvedness phase plane, can be clearly classified into two modes: (i) constant shape evolution, and (ii) variable shape-variable curvedness. Shapes between spheres and cylinders follow the former mode for large curvedness and transition at smaller curvedness into the latter. Shapes’ transitions between cylinder and saddles only follow the second mode. Under geometry-driven stagnation (i.e. zero normal velocity) shapes can be frozen. Evolving spheres and cylinders freeze into the same original shape, but perturbed cylinders can freeze into a variety of shapes including saddles. The results provide a useful complementary view on how to describe and control shape evolution in surfaces and interfaces, of wide interest in soft matter materials.

Graphical abstract: Extracting shape from curvature evolution in moving surfaces

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 07 Dec 2017, accepted on 28 Jan 2018 and first published on 29 Jan 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02409F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 1465-1473
  •   Request permissions

    Extracting shape from curvature evolution in moving surfaces

    O. F. Aguilar Gutierrez and A. D. Rey, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 1465
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02409F

Search articles by author