Slowly strained solids deform via intermittent slips that exhibit a material-independent critical size distribution. Here, by comparing two disparate systems - granular materials and bulk metallic glasses - we show evidence that not only the statistics of slips but also their dynamics are remarkably similar, i.e. independent of the microscopic details of the material. By resolving and comparing the full time evolution of avalanches in bulk metallic glasses and granular materials, we uncover a regime of universal deformation dynamics. We experimentally verify the predicted universal scaling functions for the dynamics of individual avalanches in both systems, and show that both the slip statistics and dynamics are independent of the scale and details of the material structure and interactions, thus settling a long-standing debate as to whether or not the claim of universality includes only the slip statistics or also the slip dynamics. The results imply that the frictional weakening in granular materials and the interplay of damping, weakening and inertial effects in bulk metallic glasses have strikingly similar effects on the slip dynamics. These results are important for transferring experimental results across scales and material structures in a single theory of deformation dynamics.
Denisov, Dmitri V.; Lorincz, Kinga A.; Wright, Wendelin J.; Hufnagel, Todd C.; Nawano, Aya; Gu, Xiaojun; Uhl, Jonathan T.; Dahmen, Karin A.; and Schall, Peter. "Universal Slip Dynamics in Metallic Glasses and Granular Matter – Linking Frictional Weakening with Inertial Effects." Scientific Reports (2017) : 43376.