Evolving loop structure in gradually tilted two-dimensional granular packings

Ashley G. Smart, Julio M Ottino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Granular packings, especially near the jamming transition, form fragile networks where small perturbations can lead to destabilization and large scale rearrangements. A key stabilizing element in two dimensions is the contact loop, yet surprisingly little is known about contact loop statistics in realistic granular networks. In this paper, we use particle dynamics to study the evolution of contact loop structure in a gradually tilted two-dimensional granular bed. We find that the resulting contact loop distributions (1) are sensitive to material properties, (2) deviate from the expected structure of a randomly wired lattice, and (3) are uniquely dependent on tilting angle. Also, we introduce a quantitative measure of loop stability ξ and show that increased tilting results in a gradual destabilization of individual loops. We briefly discuss the considerations for extending our approach to three dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041307
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 21 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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