Granular matter self-organises by entropy-stability competition...

Published on: 07 June 2021

The Editors of Granular Matter are pleased to announce a new webinar in the Granular Matter Webinar Series

Wednesday 16 June, 15.00 EU time

"Granular matter self-organises by entropy-stability competition into non-equilibrium detailed balance states"
by: Prof. Raphael Blumenfeld, University of Cambridge, UK

The large-scale behaviour of granular materials is sensitive to the grain-scale structure. This structure self-organises in a way that depends on the driving dynamic process, often regarded as history-dependence. It is therefore important to find a general underlying principle that applies to a wide range of dynamic processes. In this talk, I present a couple of steps in this direction. I will first describe a recently-developed formalism to model structural organisation of two-dimensional dense granular matter. The formalism makes it possible to predict a number of structural characteristics under any quasi-static process. A particularly surprising discovery is that the steady states of such dynamics satisfy a non-equilibrium detailed balance. I then present evidence that underlying the self-organisation is a general principle of competition between entropy and mechanical stability. It is possible to reduce the effect of mechanical stability, in which case some structural characteristics can be predicted from the maximum entropy principle alone. The theoretical predictions are supported by numerical and experimental observations. These results lend further support to Sir Sam Edwards’s proposal that much of granular science can be modelled by statistical mechanics.
Below, please find the link to register for the webinar.