CESS Seminar : Frictional sliding : The effect of interfacial heterogeneities


Event details

Date 06.10.2023
Hour 13:3014:30
Speaker Dr. Elsa Bayart, ENS Lyon
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
What happens at the interface between two solid bodies in contact when they start sliding? This problem has important implications to various fields such as engineering, where the challenge is to control friction, or earthquake dynamics, where prediction of earthquakes occurrence and magnitude is crucial. 

A frictional interface is composed of an ensemble of discrete contacts that resist to shear. Sliding motion is mediated by the propagation of an interfacial rupture, breaking the micro-contacts, that has been shown to be a true shear crack. Through laboratory experiments, we study how interfacial disorder affects the onset of sliding of two solid bodies in contact. We show that disorder can drastically modify the macroscopic dynamics of the interface via the modification of the fracture initiation or propagation processes. The impact of our results on earthquakes dynamics will be discussed.

Short bio
Dr. Elsa Bayart received her M.S. in Physics from the University of Paris 6, and her Ph.D. from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, with Prof. Mokhtar Adda-Bedia and Prof. Arezki Boudaoud, where she focused on the description of geometrically frustrated elastic systems using tools from statistical physics. After receiving a postdoctoral fellowship from the Lady Davis Trust, she conducted research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of Prof. Jay Fineberg on the onset of frictional sliding, based on original experiments allowing the tracking and characterization of interfacial fractures. Since 2017, she is a CNRS researcher and a member of the Physics Laboratory of ENS Lyon (France). She conducts research in solid mechanics related to geophysical challenges. She is particularly interested in the dynamics of frictional systems, with the aim of studying the mechanics of seismic faults in the laboratory, as well as the mechanical behavior of granular suspensions under large deformation.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free


  • Prof. Olga Fink (IMOS), Prof. Alexandre Alahi (VITA), Prof. Dusan Licina (HOBEL), Prof. Alain Nussbaumer (RESSLab)


  • Jean-François Molinari and Matthieu Wyart