Numerical test of the Edwards conjecture shows that all packings are equally probable at jamming

Stefano Martiniani, K. Julian Schrenk, Kabir Ramola, Bulbul Chakraborty, Daan Frenkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the late 1980s, Sam Edwards proposed a possible statistical-mechanical framework to describe the properties of disordered granular materials. A key assumption underlying the theory was that all jammed packings are equally likely. In the intervening years it has never been possible to test this bold hypothesis directly. Here we present simulations that provide direct evidence that at the unjamming point, all packings of soft repulsive particles are equally likely, even though generically, jammed packings are not. Typically, jammed granular systems are observed precisely at the unjamming point since grains are not very compressible. Our results therefore support Edwards' original conjecture. We also present evidence that at unjamming the configurational entropy of the system is maximal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-851
Number of pages4
JournalNature Physics
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2017

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