I am a physicist interested in the mechanics of soft and biological materials and the geometric and topological mechanisms behind their dynamics. These interests span a wide range of scales, from topological phases in mechanical materials to 3D shape change in living tissues. My aim is to find unifying principles in complex systems through the lens of topology and geometry.
I recently joined the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at University of California Santa Barbara as a postdoctoral fellow and am supported by the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship. My PhD work at the University of Chicago focused on fracture mechanics, the dynamics of mechanical metamaterials, and fluid turbulence. In my undergraduate years, I studied the evolution of dwarf galaxies and atomic spectroscopy.
N. P. Mitchell, L. M. Nash, D. Hexner, A. M. Turner, W. T. M. Irvine. “Amorphous topological insulators constructed from random point sets.” Nature Physics 14, 380–385 (2018) [link]
N. P. Mitchell, V. Koning, V. Vitelli, W. T. M. Irvine, “Fracture in sheets draped on curved surfaces.” Nature Materials 16, 89-93 (2017) [link]
N. P. Mitchell, R. Carey, J. Hannah, Y. Wang, M. Cortes, S. McBride, H. Jaeger. “Conforming nanoparticle sheets to surfaces with Gaussian curvature.” Soft Matter, 14, 9107 – 9117 (2018) [link]
N. P. Mitchell, L. M. Nash, W. T. M. Irvine. “Realization of a topological phase transition in gyroscopic lattices.” Physical Review B Rapid 97, 100302(R) (2018) [link]