UCSB Department of Mechanical Engineering
Solid Mechanics, Materials, and Structures: theoretical strength of solids, large strain deformation, crystal mechanics
Professor Milstein has two primary research interests. The first comprises fundamental investigations of the mechanical behavior and stability of metals under stress. This work, in turn, is comprised of three main parts: (a) development of criteria for the assessment of the stability of crystals under stress, (b) atomistic simulations of the mechanical response of metals under stress, and (c) development of atomic models for use in the atomistic simulations. This work explores the theoretical strength of metals, the nature of failure modes at the limits of strength, phase changes in metals, and the general mechanical response of crystals at large strain. Prof. Milstein's second research area includes experimental studies of the mechanical properties of novel solids; his group is currently investigating the strength and elastic behavior of lightweight ceramic ablators that have been developed at NASA for thermal protection of space vehicles during planetary entry and of foams used by Los Alamos National Laboratories. Examples of other novel solids that were previously investigated are fiber reinforced aerogels, polymer concretes, and layered semiconductor single crystals with Van der Waals bonding between layers.