A broader view on jamming: from spring networks to circle packings

Varda F. Hagh, Eric I. Corwin, Kenneth Stephenson, Michael Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Jamming occurs when objects like grains are packed tightly together (e.g. grain silos). It is highly cooperative and can lead to phenomena like earthquakes, traffic jams, etc. In this paper we point out the paramount importance of the underlying contact network for jammed systems; the network must have one contact in excess of isostaticity and a finite bulk modulus. Isostatic means that the number of degrees of freedom is exactly balanced by the number of constraints. This defines a large class of networks that can be constructed without the necessity of packing particles together compressively (either in the lab or computationally). One such construction, which we explore here, involves setting up the Delaunay triangulation of a Poisson disk sampling and then removing edges to maximize the bulk modulus until the isostatic plus one edge is reached. This construction works in any dimensions and here we give results in 2D where we also show how such networks can be transformed into disk packs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3076-3084
Number of pages9
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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