Anomalous elasticity and plastic screening in amorphous solids

Anaël Lemaître, Chandana Mondal, Michael Moshe*, Itamar Procaccia, Saikat Roy, Keren Screiber-Re'Em

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Amorphous solids appear to react elastically to small external strains, but in contrast to ideal elastic media, plastic responses abound immediately at any value of the strain. Such plastic responses are quasilocalized in nature, with the "cheapest"one being a quadrupolar source. The existence of such plastic responses results in screened elasticity in which strains and stresses can either quantitatively or qualitatively differ from the unscreened theory, depending on the specific screening mechanism. Here we offer a theory of such screening effects by plastic quadrupoles, dipoles, and monopoles, explain their natural appearance, and point out the analogy to electrostatic screening by electric charges and dipoles. For low density of quadrupoles the effect is to normalize the elastic moduli without a qualitative change compared to pure elasticity theory; for higher density of quadrupoles the screening effects result in qualitative changes. Predictions for the spatial dependence of displacement fields caused by local sources of strains are provided and compared to numerical simulations. We find that anomalous elasticity is richer than electrostatics in having a screening mode that does not appear in the electrostatic analog.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number024904
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2021

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