Modeling relaxation and jamming in granular media

B. Kahng, I. Albert, P. Schiffer, A. L. Barabási

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a stochastic microscopic model to investigate the jamming and reorganization of grains induced by an object moving through a granular medium. The model reproduces the experimentally observed periodic sawtooth fluctuations in the jamming force and predicts the period and the power spectrum in terms of the controllable physical parameters. It also predicts that the avalanche sizes, defined as the number of displaced grains during a single advance of the object, follow a power law [formula presented] where the exponent is independent of the physical parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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