Stress correlations in granular materials: An entropic formulation

G. Lois*, J. Zhang, T. S. Majmudar, S. Henkes, B. Chakraborty, C. S. O'Hern, R. P. Behringer

*Corresponding author for this work

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

21 Citations (Scopus)


We study the response of dry granular materials to external stress using experiment, simulation, and theory. We derive a Ginzburg-Landau functional that enforces mechanical stability and positivity of contact forces. In this framework, the elastic moduli depend only on the applied stress. A combination of this feature and the positivity constraint leads to stress correlations whose shape and magnitude are extremely sensitive to the nature of the applied stress. The predictions from the theory describe the stress correlations for both simulations and experiments semiquantitatively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060303
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2009

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