Crumpling paper

May 19,1998. This document dates back to the early days of the web, back when we our pages were "Enhanced for Netscape 2.0", everybody had to have a background to be "cool", and you had to have a link to IBM's home page so people would know where to find it. This isn't the most popular document we own, but we like the content so we'll keep it forever.

A while back I spent a great deal of time crumpling paper. Why, you might ask? Well, it turns out that many of the systems that physicists are interested in emit pulses of energy that vary broadly in energy with a power law distribution: a few examples are earthquakes, magnets and noise pulses emitted by materials under stress. Crumpling paper puts a world of interesting physics between your hands.

If your browser supports Java, you can read my paper in the original LaTeX form without any plug-ins or helper applications thanks to the IDVI applet by Garth Dickie from the Geometry Center.


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