Structural Measures as Guides to Ultrastable States in Overjammed Packings

Sangwoo Kim, Sascha Hilgenfeldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Jammed, disordered packings of given sets of particles possess a multitude of equilibrium states with different mechanical properties. Identifying and constructing desired states, e.g., of superior stability, is a complex task. Here, we show that in two-dimensional particle packings the energy of all metastable states (inherent structures) is reliably classified by simple scalar measures of local steric packing. These structural measures are insensitive to the particle interaction potential and so robust that they can be used to guide a modified swap algorithm that anneals polydisperse packings toward low-energy metastable states exceptionally fast. The low-energy states are extraordinarily stable against applied shear, so that the approach also efficiently identifies ultrastable packings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 14 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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