Jamming I: A volume function for jammed matter

Chaoming Song, Ping Wang, Yuliang Jin, Hernán A. Makse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We introduce a "Hamiltonian"-like function, called the volume function, indispensable to describe the ensemble of jammed matter such as granular materials and emulsions from a geometrical point of view. The volume function represents the available volume of each particle in the jammed systems. At the microscopic level, we show that the volume function is the Voronoi volume associated to each particle and in turn we provide an analytical formula for the Voronoi volume in terms of the contact network, valid for any dimension. We then develop a statistical theory for the probability distribution of the volumes in 3d to calculate an average volume function coarse-grained at a mesoscopic level. The salient result is the discovery of a mesoscopic volume function inversely proportional to the coordination number. Our analysis is the first step toward the calculation of macroscopic observables and equations of state using the statistical mechanics of jammed matter, when supplemented by the condition of mechanical equilibrium of jamming that properly defines jammed matter at the ensemble level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4497-4509
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Granular materials
  • Jammed matter
  • The Voronoi volume
  • Volume function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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