Motivation and Overview

  • Salvatore Torquato
Part of the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics book series (IAM, volume 16)


The determination of the transport, electromagnetic, and mechanical properties of heterogeneous materials has a long and venerable history, attracting the attention of some of the luminaries of science, including Maxwell (1873), Rayleigh (1892), and Einstein (1906). In his Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Maxwell derived an expression for the effective conductivity of a dispersion of spheres that is exact for dilute sphere concentrations. Lord Rayleigh developed a formalism to compute the effective conductivity of regular arrays of spheres that is used to this day. Work on the mechanical properties of heterogeneous materials began with the famous paper by Einstein in which he determined the effective viscosity of a dilute suspension of spheres. Since the early work on the physical properties of heterogeneous materials, there has been an explosion in the literature on this subject because of the rich and challenging fundamental problems it offers and its manifest technological importance.


Porous Medium Planar Section Heterogeneous Material Boron Carbide Effective Property 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvatore Torquato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Princeton Materials InstitutePrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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