We developed an experimental method to generate mechanically stable (MS) packings of frictionless disks and performed coordinated experiments and simulations to characterize MS packings in small systems. For a given system geometry, MS packings occur as discrete, well-separated points in configuration space with probabilities that vary by many orders of magnitude and are robust with respect to the packing preparation. Over a continuous range of system geometries, MS packings occur as distinct geometrical families and only a small fraction of families are sampled via quasistatic dynamics. These results suggest that the most frequent MS packings may dominate the structural and mechanical properties of dense granular media.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Dec 17 2009|