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Maurice Anthony Biot (1905-1985) and his 1941 paper that founded the theory of poroelasticity

M.A. Biot, General theory of three-dimensional consolidation, Journal of Applied Physics 12, 155-164 (1941).

This paper founded the theory of poroelasticity. Perhaps the most vivid demonstration of poroelasticity is a sponge, an elastic solid with connected pores. When immersed in water, the sponge absorbs water. When a saturated sponge is squeezed, water will come out. More generally, the subject is known as diffusion in elastic solids, or elasticity of fluid-infiltrated porous solids, or poroelasticity. The theory has been applied to diverse phenomena, including

  • Consolidation of soil
  • Swelling of hydrogels
  • Fluid migration in living tissues
  • Diffusion of atoms in crystals

Huge number of papers and books have been written to apply Biot's theory. In many ways, his original 1941 paper is still the best entry point of the subject. The basic outlook has remained unchanged.

Some online resources on the theory of poroelasticity

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