TY - JOUR

T1 - The statistical physics of athermal materials

AU - Bi, Dapeng

AU - Henkes, Silke

AU - Daniels, Karen E.

AU - Chakraborty, Bulbul

PY - 2015/3/10

Y1 - 2015/3/10

N2 - At the core of equilibrium statistical mechanics lies the notion of statistical ensembles: a collection of microstates, each occurring with a given a priori probability that depends on only a few macroscopic parameters, such as temperature, pressure, volume, and energy. In this review, we discuss recent advances in establishing statistical ensembles for athermal materials. The broad class of granular and particulate materials is immune to the effects of thermal fluctuations because the constituents are macroscopic. In addition, interactions between grains are frictional and dissipative, which invalidates the fundamental postulates of equilibrium statistical mechanics. However, granular materials exhibit distributions of microscopic quantities that are reproducible and often depend on only a few macroscopic parameters. We explore the history of statistical ensemble ideas in the context of granular materials, clarify the nature of such ensembles and their foundational principles, highlight advances in testing key ideas, and discuss applications of ensembles to analyze the collective behavior of granular materials.

AB - At the core of equilibrium statistical mechanics lies the notion of statistical ensembles: a collection of microstates, each occurring with a given a priori probability that depends on only a few macroscopic parameters, such as temperature, pressure, volume, and energy. In this review, we discuss recent advances in establishing statistical ensembles for athermal materials. The broad class of granular and particulate materials is immune to the effects of thermal fluctuations because the constituents are macroscopic. In addition, interactions between grains are frictional and dissipative, which invalidates the fundamental postulates of equilibrium statistical mechanics. However, granular materials exhibit distributions of microscopic quantities that are reproducible and often depend on only a few macroscopic parameters. We explore the history of statistical ensemble ideas in the context of granular materials, clarify the nature of such ensembles and their foundational principles, highlight advances in testing key ideas, and discuss applications of ensembles to analyze the collective behavior of granular materials.

KW - athermal

KW - granular materials

KW - statistical physics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84924422595&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1146/annurev-conmatphys-031214-014336

DO - 10.1146/annurev-conmatphys-031214-014336

M3 - Article (Academic Journal)

AN - SCOPUS:84924422595

VL - 6

SP - 63

EP - 83

JO - Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics

JF - Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics

SN - 1947-5454

IS - 1

ER -