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# Elasticity (physics)

In physics, elasticity (from Greek "ductible") is the ability of a body to resist a distorting
influence or stress and to return to its original size and shape when the stress is removed. Solid
objects will deform when forces are applied on them. If the material is elastic, the object will return
to its initial shape and size when these forces are removed.
The physical reasons for elastic behavior can be quite different for different materials. In metals,
the atomic lattice changes size and shape when forces are applied (energy is added to the
system). When forces are removed, the lattice goes back to the original lower energy state.
For rubbers and other polymers, elasticity is caused by the stretching of polymer chains when
forces are applied.
Perfect elasticity is an approximation of the real world, and few materials remain purely elastic
even after very small deformations. In engineering, the amount of elasticity of a material is
determined by two types of material parameter. The first type of material parameter is called
a modulus, which measures the amount of force per unit area (stress) needed to achieve a given
amount of deformation. The units of modulus are pascals (Pa) or pounds of force per square inch
(psi, also lbf/in2). A higher modulus typically indicates that the material is harder to deform. The
second type of parameter measures the elastic limit. The limit can be a stress beyond which the
material no longer behaves elastic and deformation of the material will take place. If the stress is
shape.
When describing the relative elasticities of two materials, both the modulus and the elastic limit
have to be considered. Rubbers typically have a low modulus and tend to stretch a lot (that is,
they have a high elastic limit) and so appear more elastic than metals (high modulus and low
elastic limit) in everyday experience. Of two rubber materials with the same elastic limit, the one
with a lower modulus will appear to be more elastic.

When an elastic material is deformed due to an external force, it experiences internal resistance
to the deformation and restores it to its original state if the external force is no longer applied.
There are various elastic moduli, such as Young's modulus, the shear modulus, and the bulk
modulus, all of which are measures of the inherent elastic properties of a material as a resistance
to deformation under an applied load. The various moduli apply to different kinds of deformation.
For instance, Young's modulus applies to extension/compression of a body, whereas the shear
modulus applies to its shear. 
The elasticity of materials is described by a stress-strain curve, which shows the relation
between stress (the average restorative internal force per unit area) and strain (the relative
deformation). For most metals or crystalline materials, the curve is linear for small deformations,
and so the stress-strain relationship can adequately be described by Hooke's law, and higher-

order terms can be ignored. However, for larger stresses beyond the elastic limit
limit, the relation is
no longer linear. For even higher stresses, materials exhibit plastic behavior,, that is, they deform
irreversibly and do not return to their original shape after stress is no longer applied
applied. For rubberlike materials such as elastomers,
elastomers the gradient of the stress-strain curve
rve increases with stress,
meaning that rubbers progressively become more difficult to stretch, while for most metals, the
gradient decreases at very high stresses, meaning that they progressively become easier to
stretch. Elasticity is not exhibited only by solids; non-Newtonian fluids,, such as viscoelastic
fluids,, will also exhibit elasticity in certain conditions.
conditions. In response to a small, rapidly applied and
removed strain, these fluids may deform and then return to their original shape. Under larger
strains, or strains applied for longer periods of time, these fluids may start to flow like
a viscous liquid.
Because the elasticity of a material is described in terms of a stress-strain
stress strain relation, it is essential
that the terms stress and strain be defined without ambiguity. Typically, two types of relation are
considered. The first type deals with materials that are elastic only for small strains. The second
deals with materials that are not limited to small strains. Clearly, the second type of relation is
more general.
For small strains, the measure
e of stress that is used is the Cauchy stress while the measure of
strain that is used is the infinitesimal strain tensor.
tensor. The stress and strain measures are related by
a linear relation known as Hooke's law.
law Linear elasticity describes the behavior of such
materials. Cauchy elastic materials and Hypoelastic materials are models that extend Hooke's
law to allow for the possibility of large rotations.
rotati
For more general situations, any of a number of stress measures can be used provided they
are work conjugate to an appropriate finite strain measure, i.e., the product of the stress measure
and the strain measure should be equal to the internal energy (which does not depend on how
the stress or strain are measured). Hyperelasticity is the preferred approach for dealing with finite
strains and several material models analogous to Hooke's law are in use.
As noted above, for small deformations, most elastic materials such as springs exhibit linear
elasticity and can be described by a linear relation between the stress and strain. This
relationship is known as Hooke's law.
law A geometry-dependent
dependent version of the idea was first
formulated by Robert Hooke in 1675 as a Latin anagram,, "ceiiinosssttuv". He published the

Ut tensio, sic vis"
vis meaning "As the extension, so the force",
a linear

relationship commonly referred to as Hooke's law.. This law can be stated as a relationship
between force F and displacement x,

where k is a constant known as the rate or spring constant.. It can also be stated as a
relationship between stress and strain

## where E Is known as the elastic modulus or Young's modulus.

Although the general proportionality constant between stress and strain in three
dimensions is a 4th order tensor, systems that exhibit symmetry, such as a onedimensional rod, can often be reduced to applications of Hooke's law.