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Creators/Authors contains: "Wall, Wolfgang A."

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  1. null (Ed.)
    We consider the propagation of tension along specific filaments of a semiflexible filament network in response to the application of a point force using a combination of numerical simulations and analytic theory. We find the distribution of force within the network is highly heterogeneous, with a small number of fibers supporting a significant fraction of the applied load over distances of multiple mesh sizes surrounding the point of force application. We suggest that these structures may be thought of as tensile force chains, whose structure we explore via simulation. We develop self-consistent calculations of the point-force response function and introduce a transfer matrix approach to explore the decay of tension (into bending) energy and the branching of tensile force chains in the network. 
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  2. Motivated by the observation of the storage of excess elastic free energy -- prestress in cross linked semiflexible filament networks, we consider the problem of the conformational statistics of a single semiflexible polymer in a quenched random potential. The random potential, which represents the effect of cross linking to other filaments is assumed to have a finite correlation length and mean strength. We examine the statistical distribution of curvature in the limit that the filaments are much shorter than their thermal persistence length. We compare our theoretical predictions to finite element Brownian dynamics simulations. Lastly we comment on the validity of replica field techniques in addressing these questions. 
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