Scale-free statistics of plasticity-induced surface steps on KCl single crystals

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Experimental investigations of plastic flow have demonstrated temporal intermittency as deformation proceeds in a series of intermittent bursts with scale-free size distribution. In the present investigation, a corresponding spatial intermittency is demonstrated for plastic flow of KCl single crystals. Deformation bursts lead to large surface steps with a height distribution that is consistent with the distribution of strain increments in deformation of micron-size samples and the energy distribution of acoustic emission bursts observed in deformation of macroscopic single-crystal samples of a wide class of materials. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd and SISSA.

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Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment