An invariant distribution in static granular media

T. Aste*, T. Di Matteo, M. Saadatfar, T. J. Senden, Matthias Schröter, Harry L. Swinney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    81 Citations (Scopus)


    We have discovered an invariant distribution for local packing configurations in static granular media. This distribution holds in experiments for packing fractions covering most of the range from random loose packed to random close packed, for bead packs prepared both in air and in water. Assuming only that there exist elementary cells in which the system volume is subdivided, we derive from statistical mechanics a distribution that is in accord with the observations. This universal distribution function for granular media is analogous to the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution for molecular gasses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number24003
    JournalEurophysics Letters
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007


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