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A deductive statistical mechanics approach for granular matter

Aste, T; Matteo, TD; A deductive statistical mechanics approach for granular matter. Phys. Rev. E , 77 021309-. 10.1103/PhysRevE.77.021309.

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We introduce a deductive statistical mechanics approach for granular materials which is formally built from few realistic physical assumptions. The main finding is an universal behavior for the distribution of the density fluctuations. Such a distribution is the equivalent of the Maxwell-Boltzmann's distribution in the kinetic theory of gasses. The comparison with a very extensive set of experimental and simulation data for packings of monosized spherical grains, reveals a remarkably good quantitative agreement with the theoretical predictions for the density fluctuations both at the grain level and at the global system level. Such agreement is robust over a broad range of packing fractions and it is observed in several distinct systems prepared by using different methods. The equilibrium distributions are characterized by only one parameter ($k$) which is a quantity very sensitive to changes in the structural organization. The thermodynamical equivalent of $k$ and its relation with the `granular temperature' are also discussed.

Type: Article
Title: A deductive statistical mechanics approach for granular matter
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.77.021309
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.77.021309
Additional information: 15 pages, 6 figures
Keywords: cond-mat.soft, cond-mat.soft
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1360852
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