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Physics  2013 

Breakdown of continuum elasticity in amorphous solids

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We show numerically that the response of simple amorphous solids (elastic networks and particle packings) to a local force dipole is characterized by a lengthscale $\ell_c$ that diverges as unjamming is approached as $\ell_c \sim (z - 2d)^{-1/2}$, where $z \ge 2d$ is the mean coordination, and $d$ is the spatial dimension, at odds with previous numerical claims. We also show how the magnitude of the lengthscale $\ell_c$ is amplified by the presence of internal stresses in the disordered solid. Our data suggests a divergence of $\ell_c\sim (p_c-p)^{-1/4}$ with proximity to a critical internal stress $p_c$ at which soft elastic modes become unstable.


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