Common features in the mechanics of fiber networks, spring networks, and emulsions

Karsten Baumgarten, Brian Tighe

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractScientific


In many soft matter systems with a network structure, the mean connectivity plays a key role in determining the mechanical response. In the typical scenario for central force networks, there is a critical connectivity (the isostatic point) above which the system can withstand shear and bulk deformations. However, there are several different ways to induce the material to rigidify below the critical connectivity. Here we explore three such mechanisms: bending rigidity in the Mikado model for semi-flexible fiber networks, pre-tensioning in random spring networks, and finite-ranged attraction in soft sphere packings. Here we show common features in the rigidity transition of all three seemingly disparate systems. In particular we identify a band of low frequency normal modes for low perturbation strengths whose height and width are related to the distance to isostaticity. These in turn control the elastic moduli, as we explain with simple scaling arguments.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP15.00012
Number of pages1
JournalAmerican Physical Society. Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAPS March Meeting 2017 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 13 Mar 201717 Mar 2017


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