Finding bridges in packings of colloidal spheres

Matthew Jenkins, Mark D. Haw, Gary Barker, Wilson Poon, Stefan Egelhaaf

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We identify putative load-bearing structures (bridges) in experimental colloidal systems studied by confocal microscopy. Bridges are co-operative structures that have been used to explain stability and inhomogeneous force transmission in simulated granular packings with a range of densities. We show that bridges similar to those found in granular simulations are present in real experimental colloidal packings. We describe critically the bridge-finding procedure for real experimental data and propose a new criterion-Lowest Mean Squared Separation (LSQS)-for selecting optimum stabilisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-690
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number2
Early online date27 Oct 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • packing
  • colloid
  • sediment
  • bridge
  • jamming
  • force chain

Cite this

Jenkins, M., Haw, M. D., Barker, G., Poon, W., & Egelhaaf, S. (2011). Finding bridges in packings of colloidal spheres. Soft Matter, 7(2), 684-690.