Universality of slip avalanches in flowing granular matter

D. V. Denisov, K. A. Lörincz, J. T. Uhl, K. A. Dahmen, P. Schall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The search for scale-bridging relations in the deformation of amorphous materials presents a current challenge with tremendous applications in material science, engineering and geology. While generic features in the flow and microscopic dynamics support the idea of a universal scaling theory of deformation, direct microscopic evidence remains poor. Here, we provide the first measurement of internal scaling relations in the deformation of granular matter. By combining macroscopic force fluctuation measurements with internal strain imaging, we demonstrate the existence of robust scaling relations from particle-scale to macroscopic flow. We identify consistent power-law relations truncated by systematic pressure-dependent cutoff, in agreement with recent mean-field theory of slip avalanches in elasto-plastic materials, revealing the existence of a mechanical critical point. These results experimentally establish scale-bridging relations in the flow of matter, paving the way to a new universal theory of deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10641
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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