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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Apr 7;96(13):136103. Epub 2006 Apr 7.

Statistics of crumpled paper.

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Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, UMR 8550 du CNRS/Paris VI/Paris VII, Ecole normale supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.


A statistical study of crumpled paper is allowed by a minimal 1D model: a self-avoiding line bent at sharp angles--in which the elastic energy resides--put in a confining potential. Many independent equilibrium configurations are generated numerically and their properties are investigated. At small confinement, the distribution of segment lengths is log-normal in agreement with previous predictions and experiments. At high confinement, the system approaches a jammed state with a critical behavior, whereas the length distribution follows a gamma law in which the parameter is predicted as a function of the number of layers in the system.

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