Holes in mechanical metamaterials, quasilocalized plastic events in amorphous solids, and bound dislocations in a hexatic matter are different mechanisms of generic stress relaxation in solids. Regardless of the specific mechanism, these and other local stress relaxation modes are quadrupolar in nature, forming the foundation for stress screening in solids, similar to polarization fields in electrostatic media. We propose a geometric theory for stress screening in generalized solids based on this observation. The theory includes a hierarchy of screening modes, each characterized by internal length scales, and is partially analogous to theories of electrostatic screening such as dielectrics and Debye-Hückel theory. Additionally, our formalism suggests that the hexatic phase, traditionally defined by structural properties, can also be defined by mechanical properties and may exist in amorphous materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics