Infoscience

Journal article

Stationary self-organized fractal structures in an open, dissipative electrical system

We study the stationary state of a Poisson problem for a system of N perfectly conducting metal balls driven by electric forces to move within a medium of very low electrical conductivity onto which charges are sprayed from outside. When grounded at a confining boundary, the system of metal balls is experimentally known to self-organize into stable fractal aggregates. We simulate the dynamical conditions leading to the formation of such aggregated patterns and analyse the fractal properties. From our results and those obtained for steady-state systems that obey minimum total energy dissipation (and potential energy of the system as a whole), we suggest a possible dynamical rule for the emergence of scale-free structures in nature.

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