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Title: On the evolution of particle fragmentation with applications to planetary surfaces
Author: Charalambous, Constantinos
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 3534
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2015
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Fragmentation is a complex phenomenon seen ubiquitously in nature, with the elucidation of its complexity being one of the most popular subjects of the last century. It arises across at a vast multitude of scales in a diverse range of fields such as geophysics and materials, mineral processing, meteorological processes, astrophysics and nuclei impacts - only to be limited by the fundamental units of matter itself. This thesis establishes a new statistical basis for the evolution of particle fragmentation and the resulting product population at all scales. It is informed by the underlying physical processes and builds on the existing disconnected models of fragmentation, mainly the time-continuous grinding and the universality of critical scaleinvariant systems arising in geophysical systems. By extending fractal theory into a temporal context and lifting the various limitations posed by fractals, it provides a solution to the fragmentation problem via a statistical approach which is verified and developed based on terrestrial data from both artificial and natural fragmentation processes. It is then applied to model observations from around the solar system as both an explanatory and predictive approach to the evaluation of planetary surfaces, one of the major areas of study in planetary sciences. Furthermore, a stochastic model for drilling in a planetary regolith is developed both mathematically and through the synthesis of digital soil.
Supervisor: Pike, Tom Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral