Kondic, L; Goullet, A; O'Hern, CS; Kramar, M; Mischaikow, K; Behringer, RP, *Topology of force networks in compressed granular media*,
EPL (Europhysics Letters), vol. 97 no. 5
(2012),
pp. 54001 [doi] .
**Abstract:**

*Using numerical simulations, we investigate the evolution of the structure of force networks in slowly compressed model granular materials in two spatial dimensions. We quantify the global properties of the force networks using the zeroth Betti number B0, which is a topological invariant. We find that B0 can distinguish among force networks in systems with frictionless vs. frictional disks and varying size distributions. In particular, we show that 1) the force networks in systems composed of frictionless, monodisperse disks differ significantly from those in systems with frictional, polydisperse disks and we isolate the effect (friction, polydispersity) leading to the differences; 2) the structural properties of force networks change as the system passes through the jamming transition; and 3) the force network continues to evolve as the system is compressed above jamming, e.g., the size of connected clusters with forces larger than a given threshold decreases significantly with increasing packing fraction. © Europhysics Letters Association, 2012.*