The nucleation and/or growth of cracks in elastic-brittle solids has been recently described in  in terms of a special class of measures and with a variational technique requiring the minimization of a certain energy over classes of bodies. Here, the physical foundations of the theory and the basic ideas leading to it are described and commented further on. A view on certain possible developments and shifts toward different settings is also given. This article has expository character.
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Paolo Maria Mariano, Physical significance of the curvature varifold-based description of crack nucleation. Atti Accad. Naz. Lincei Cl. Sci. Fis. Mat. Natur. 21 (2010), no. 2, pp. 215–233DOI 10.4171/RLM/568