Computer Simulation of Contact Force Distribution in Random Granular Packings
Discrete element simulations show that the contact force distribution in a stressed granular packing can be described by a single, lumped parameter known as the “mechanical temperature”. The simulated results suggest that equilibrium is governed by a free energy functional containing an energy and an entropy component. Similar to the role of the conventional thermal temperature, the mechanical temperature controls the relative importance between energy and entropy.
KeywordsDiscrete element simulation granular materials statistical physics
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