Entropy and temperature of a static granular assembly: An ab initio approach

Silke Henkes*, Corey S. O'Hern, Bulbul Chakraborty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


We construct a statistical framework for static assemblies of deformable grains which parallels that of equilibrium statistical mechanics but with a conservation principle based on the mechanical stress tensor. We define a state function that has all the attributes of entropy. In particular, maximizing this function leads to a well-defined granular temperature and the equivalent of the Boltzman distribution for ensembles of grain packings. Predictions of the ensemble are verified against simulated packings of frictionless, deformable disks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number038002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Cite this