The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 223, Issue 11, pp 2189–2204 | Cite as

Granular statistical mechanics – a personal perspective

  • R. Blumenfeld
  • S.F. Edwards
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Dynamic Systems: From Statistical Mechanics to Engineering Applications


The science of granular matter has expanded from an activity for specialised engineering applications to a fundamental field in its own right. This has been accompanied by an explosion of research and literature, which cannot be reviewed in one paper. A key to progress in this field is the formulation of a statistical mechanical formalism that could help develop equations of state and constitutive relations. This paper aims at reviewing some milestones in this direction. An essential basic step toward the development of any static and quasi-static theory of granular matter is a systematic and useful method to quantify the grain-scale structure and we start with a review of such a method. We then review and discuss the ongoing attempt to construct a statistical mechanical theory of granular systems. Along the way, we will clarify a number of misconceptions in the field, as well as highlight several outstanding problems.


Partition Function Granular Material European Physical Journal Special Topic Volume Function Mechanical Equilibrium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESE, Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Gonville and Caius CollegeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.College of Science, National Univ. of Defence TechnologyChangshaChina
  4. 4.Cavendish LaboratoryCambridgeUK

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