Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Measuring Elastomer Properties
Name: Emilio
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: IL
Country: USA
Date: N/A 

I was wondering what laws or rules go with a rubber band. I have already Hooke's Law and the second law of thermodynamics. Are the any more? I was also wondering what causes a rubber band to break. What happens inside the rubber band that makes it not able to be stretched as far?


When you stretch the rubber band a little, you are extending the bonds in the rubber. When you stretch a rubber band too far, you're actually breaking the chemical bonds that hold the rubber molecules together.

As for your second question, I might start by reading a little bit of chemistry and some mechanical properties texts. The mechanical properties (elastic/plastic deformation, Young's modulus, etc.) can help explain the stretching in greater detail. The chemistry can explain how the material can act the way it does.

Here's one example:

You may find it a little dense reading, but if you visit a local library you may find a more suitable text.

Hope this helps,
Burr Zimmerman

Click here to return to the Material Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory