A geometric formulation of the law of AboavWeaire in two and three dimensions

J. K. Mason, R. Ehrenborg, E. A. Lazar

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20 Scopus citations


The law of AboavWeaire is a simple mathematical expression deriving from empirical observations that the number of sides of a grain is related to the average number of sides of the neighboring grains, and is usually restricted to natural two-dimensional microstructures. Numerous attempts have been made to justify this relationship theoretically, or to derive an analogous relation in three dimensions. This paper provides several exact geometric results with expressions similar to that of the usual law of AboavWeaire, though with additional terms that may be used to establish when the law of AbaovWeaire is a suitable approximation. Specifically, we derive several local relations that apply to individual grain clusters, and a corresponding global relation that is identical in two and three dimensions except for a single parameter . The derivation requires the definition and investigation of the average excess curvature, a previously unconsidered physical quantity. An approximation to our exact result is compared to the results of extensive simulations in two and three dimensions, and we provide a compact expression that strikes a balance between complexity and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065001
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 17 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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