Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 6, September 2006
Page(s) 887 - 893
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 11 August 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (6), pp. 887-893 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10193-6

Autocorrelation spectra of an air-fluidized granular system measured by NMR

S. Lasic1, J. Stepisnik1, 2, A. Mohoric1, I. Sersa2 and G. Planinsic1

1  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Physics Department Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2  Josef Stefan Institute - Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

received 9 February 2006; accepted in final form 18 July 2006
published online 11 August 2006

A novel insight into the dynamics of a fluidized granular system is given by a nuclear magnetic resonance method that yields the spin-echo attenuation proportional to the spectrum of the grain positional fluctuation. Measurements of the air-fluidized oil-filled spheres and mustard seeds at different degrees of fluidization and grain volume fractions provide the velocity autocorrelation that differs from the commonly anticipated exponential Enskog decay. An empiric formula, which corresponds to the model of grain caging at collisions with adjacent beads, fits well to the experimental data. Its parameters are the characteristic collision time, the free path between collisions and the cage-breaking rate or the diffusion-like constant, which decreases with increasing grain volume fraction. Mean-squared displacements calculated from the correlation spectrum clearly show transitions from ballistic, through sub-diffusion and into diffusion regimes of grain motion.

45.70.Mg - Granular flow: mixing, segregation and stratification.
76.60.Lz - Spin echoes.

© EDP Sciences 2006