Giant amplification of small perturbations in frictional amorphous solids

Harish Charan, Oleg Gendelman, Itamar Procaccia, Itamar Procaccia, Yarden Sheffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Catastrophic events in nature can be often triggered by small perturbations, with "remote triggering"of earthquakes being an important example. Here we present a mechanism for the giant amplification of small perturbations that is expected to be generic in systems whose dynamics is not derivable from a Hamiltonian. We offer a general discussion of the typical instabilities involved (being oscillatory with an exponential increase of noise) and examine in detail the normal forms that determine the relevant dynamics. The high sensitivity to external perturbations is explained for systems with and without dissipation. Numerical examples are provided using the dynamics of frictional granular matter. Finally, we point out the relationship of the presently discussed phenomenon to the highly topical issue of "exceptional points"in quantum models with non-Hermitian Hamiltonians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062902
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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