3D bulk measurements of the force distribution in a compressed emulsion system

Jasna Brujic, Sam F. Edwards, Dmitri V. Grinev, Ian Hopkinson, Djordje Brujic, Hernán A. Makse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


In particulate materials, such as emulsions and granular media, a “jammed” system results if particles are packed together so that all particles are touching their neighbours, provided the density is sufficiently high. This paper studies through experiment, theory and simulation, the forces that particles exert upon one another in such a jammed state. Confocal microscopy of a compressed polydisperse emulsion provides a direct 3D measurement of the dispersed phase morphology within the bulk of the sample. This allows the determination of the probability distribution of interdroplet forces, P(f) where f is the magnitude of the force, from local droplet deformations. In parallel, the simplest form of the Boltzmann equation for the probability of force distributions predicts P(f) to be of the form ef/p, where p is proportional to the mean force ƒ with combining macron] for large forces. This result is in good agreement with experimental and simulated data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-220
Number of pages14
JournalFaraday Discussions
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Emulsions


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