Europhys. Lett.
Volume 66, Number 2, April 2004
Page(s) 277 - 283
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 April 2004
Europhys. Lett., 66 (2) , pp. 277-283 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10190-3

Impulse distributions in dense granular flows: Signatures of large-scale spatial structures

A. Ferguson, B. Fisher and B. Chakraborty

Martin Fisher School of Physics, Brandeis University Mailstop 057, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA

(Received 12 September 2003; accepted in final form 11 February 2004)

We study the impulse distribution in a model of gravity-driven granular flow and show that changes in the distribution are correlated with the appearance of clusters of "frequently-colliding" particles. Our simulations show increasingly large linear clusters as the flow velocity decreases. The dissipative nature of the collisions leads to an increase of small-impulse events as the size of these clusters grow and can explain the observed changes in the impulse distribution as the flow rate decreases.

81.05.Rm - Porous materials; granular materials.
45.70.-n - Granular systems.
83.10.Pp - Particle dynamics.

© EDP Sciences 2004