The force network ensemble for granular packings

Brian P. Tighe*, Jacco H. Snoeijer, Thijs J.H. Vlugt, Martin van Hecke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


For packings of hard but not perfectly rigid particles, the length scales that govern the packing geometry and the contact forces are well separated. This separation of length scales is explored in the force network ensemble, where one studies the space of allowed force configurations for a given, frozen contact geometry. Here we review results of this approach, which yields nontrivial predictions for the effect of packing dimension and anisotropy on the contact force distribution P(f), the response to overall shear and point forcing, all of which can be studied in great numerical detail. Moreover, there are emerging analytical approaches that very effectively capture, for example, the form of force distributions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2908-2917
Number of pages10
JournalSoft matter
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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