Force indeterminacy in the jammed state of hard disks
Granular packings of hard disks are investigated by means of contact dynamics which is an appropriate technique to explore the allowed force realizations in the space of contact forces. Configurations are generated for given friction coefficients, and then an ensemble of equilibrium forces is found for fixed contacts. We study the force fluctuations within this ensemble. In the limit of zero friction, the fluctuations vanish in accordance with the isostaticity of the packing. The magnitude of the fluctuations has a nonmonotonous friction dependence. The increase for small friction can be attributed to the opening of the angle of the Coulomb cone, while the decrease as friction increases is due to the reduction of connectivity of the contact network, leading to local, independent clusters of indeterminacy. We discuss the relevance of indeterminacy to packings of deformable particles and to the mechanical response properties.
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