Emergent Elasticity in Amorphous Solids

The mechanical response of naturally abundant amorphous solids are not described by the conventional paradigm of broken symmetry that defines crystalline elasticity. In contrast, the response of such athermal solids are governed by local conditions of mechanical equilibrium. Here Bulbul Chakraborty discusses these constraints have the mathematical structure of a generalized electromagnetism, where the electrostatic limit successfully captures the anisotropic elasticity of amorphous solids. Image courtesy of Bulbul Chakraborty.

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