Phase transition in a static granular systemMatthias Schröter1, Sibylle Nägle1, Charles Radin2 and Harry L. Swinney1
1 Physics Department and Center for Nonlinear Dynamics, University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX 78712, USA
2 Mathematics Department, University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX 78712, USA
received 3 February 2007; accepted in final form 11 April 2007; published May 2007
published online 10 May 2007
We find that a column of glass beads exhibits a well-defined transition between two phases that differ in their resistance to shear. Pulses of fluidization are used to prepare static sedimented states with well-defined particle volume fractions in the range 0.570.63. The resistance to shear is determined by slowly inserting a rod into the column of beads. Force measurements and bed height measurements both indicate that the transition occurs at for a range of speeds of the rod.
45.70.Cc - Static sandpiles; granular compaction .
81.05.Rm - Porous materials; granular materials .
45.70.-n - Granular systems .
© Europhysics Letters Association 2007