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      Force rearrangements and statistics of hyperstatic granular force networks

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          Abstract

          The heterogeneous force networks in static granular media --- formed from contact forces between grains and spanning from boundary to boundary in the packing --- are distinguished from other network structures in that they must satisfy constraints of mechanical equilibrium on every vertex/grain. Here we study the statistics of ensembles of hyperstatic frictionless force networks, which are composed of more forces than can be determined uniquely from force balance. Hyperstatic force networks possess degrees of freedom that rearrange one balanced network into another. We construct these rearrangements, count them, identify their elementary building blocks, and show that in two dimensions they are related via duality to so-called floppy modes, which play an important role in many other aspects of granular physics. We demonstrate that the number of rearrangements governs the macroscopic statistical properties of the ensemble, in particular the macroscopic fluctuations of stress, which scale with distance to the isostatic point. We then show that a maximum entropy postulate allows one to quantitatively capture many features of the microscopic statistics. Boundaries are shown to influence the statistics strongly: the probability distribution of large forces can have a qualitatively different form on the boundary and in the bulk. Finally, we consider the role of spatial correlations and dimension. All predictions are tested against highly accurate numerical simulations of the ensemble, performed using umbrella sampling.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Information Theory and Statistical Mechanics. II

           E. T. Jaynes (1957)
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            Force fluctuations in bead packs.

            Experimental observations and numerical simulations of the large force inhomogeneities present in stationary bead packs are presented. Forces much larger than the mean occurred but were exponentially rare. An exactly soluble model reproduced many aspects of the experiments and simulations. In this model, the fluctuations in the force distribution arise because of variations in the contact angles and the constraints imposed by the force balance on each bead in the pile.
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              A Model for Force Fluctuations in Bead Packs

              We study theoretically the complex network of forces that is responsible for the static structure and properties of granular materials. We present detailed calculations for a model in which the fluctuations in the force distribution arise because of variations in the contact angles and the constraints imposed by the force balance on each bead of the pile. We compare our results for force distribution function for this model, including exact results for certain contact angle probability distributions, with numerical simulations of force distributions in random sphere packings. This model reproduces many aspects of the force distribution observed both in experiment and in numerical simulations of sphere packings.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10 August 2010
                1008.1677

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                20 pages, 19 figures
                cond-mat.soft cond-mat.stat-mech

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