Fractal dimensions of jammed packings with power-law particle size distributions in two and three dimensions

JM Monti and I Srivastava and LE Silbert and JB Lechman and GS Grest, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 108, L042902 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.108.L042902

Static structure factors are computed for large-scale, mechanically stable, jammed packings of frictionless spheres (three dimensions) and disks (two dimensions) with broad, power-law size dispersity characterized by the exponent -beta. The static structure factor exhibits diverging power-law behavior for small wave numbers, allowing us to identify a structural fractal dimension df. In three dimensions, d(f) approximate to 2.0 for 2.5 <= beta <= 3.8, such that each of the structure factors can be collapsed onto a universal curve. In two dimensions, we instead find 1.0 less than or similar to d(f) <= 1.34 for 2.1 <= beta <= 2.9. Furthermore, we show that the fractal behavior persists when rattler particles are removed, indicating that the long- wavelength structural properties of the packings are controlled by the large particle backbone conferring mechanical rigidity to the system. A numerical scheme for computing structure factors for triclinic unit cells is presented and employed to analyze the jammed packings.

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