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Disordered spherical bead packs are anisotropic

Schröder-Turk, G. E., Mickel, W., Schröter, Matthias, Delaney, Gary W., Saadatfar, Mohammad, Senden, T. J., Mecke, K., Aste, Tomaso (2010) Disordered spherical bead packs are anisotropic. EPL (Europhysics Letters), 90 (3). p. 34001. ISSN 0295-5075. (doi:10.1209/0295-5075/90/34001)

Abstract

Investigating how tightly objects pack space is a long-standing problem, with relevance for many disciplines from discrete mathematics to the theory of glasses. Here we report on the fundamental yet so far overlooked geometric property that disordered mono-disperse spherical bead packs have significant local structural anisotropy manifest in the shape of the free space associated with each bead. Jammed disordered packings from several types of experiments and simulations reveal very similar values of the cell anisotropy, showing a linear decrease with packing fraction. Strong deviations from this trend are observed for unjammed configurations and for partially crystalline packings above 64%. These findings suggest an inherent geometrical reason why, in disordered packings, anisotropic shapes can fill space more efficiently than spheres, and have implications for packing effects in non-spherical liquid crystals, foams and structural glasses.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1209/0295-5075/90/34001
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Physical Sciences > Functional Materials Group
Depositing User: Tomaso Aste
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2012 16:24 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 08:54 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/29169 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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