Swirling granular solidlike clusters

Michael A. Scherer, Karsten Kötter, Mario Markus, Eric Goles, Ingo Rehberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Experiments and three-dimensional numerical simulations are presented to elucidate the dynamics of granular material in a cylindrical dish driven by a horizontal, periodic motion. The following phenomena are obtained both in the experiments and in the simulations: First, for large particle numbers N the particles describe hypocycloidal trajectories. In this state the particles are embedded in a solidlike cluster (“pancake”) which counter-rotates with respect to the external driving (reptation). Self-organization within the cluster occurs such that the probability distribution of the particles consists of concentric rings. Second, the system undergoes phase transitions. These can be identified by changes of the quantity [Formula Presented] [Formula Presented] is the mean kinetic energy) between zero (rotation), positive (reptation), and negative values (appearance of the totality of concentric rings).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4069-4077
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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