Fractal and Multifractal Scaling of Electrical Conduction in Random Resistor Networks

Redner, S.
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This article is a mini-review about electrical current flows in networks from the perspective of statistical physics. We briefly discuss analytical methods to solve the conductance of an arbitrary resistor network. We then turn to basic results related to percolation: namely, the conduction properties of a large random resistor network as the fraction of resistors is varied. We focus on how the conductance of such a network vanishes as the percolation threshold is approached from above. We also discuss the more microscopic current distribution within each resistor of a large network. At the percolation threshold, this distribution is multifractal in that all moments of this distribution have independent scaling properties. We will discuss the meaning of multifractal scaling and its implications for current flows in networks, especially the largest current in the network. Finally, we discuss the relation between resistor networks and random walks and show how the classic phenomena of recurrence and transience of random walks are simply related to the conductance of a corresponding electrical network.
Comment: 27 pages & 10 figures; review article for the Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science (Springer Science)
Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics, Condensed Matter - Disordered Systems and Neural Networks, Physics - Classical Physics