Volume 86, Number 6, June 2009
Article Number 60007
Number of page(s) 6
Section General
Published online 13 July 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 60007
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/60007

Velocity-dependent restitution coefficient and granular cooling in microgravity

Y. Grasselli1, G. Bossis2 and G. Goutallier2

1   CERAM Bachelors - Av. A. Einstein, BP 085, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France, EU
2   LPMC UMR 6622, Université de Nice - Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice Cedex 2, France, EU

received 9 April 2009; accepted in final form 3 June 2009; published June 2009
published online 13 July 2009

We experimentally investigate the free cooling process occurring in a vibrated granular medium made of inelastic particles in a two-dimensional geometry. Experiments are realized in microgravity to cancel gravitational effects and recorded with the help of a high-speed camera. From the trajectories of the particles, obtained by image analysis, we can determine both the restitution coefficient and the time decay of the energy in the medium as soon as the vibration is cut off. We found evidence at low velocities of a positive slope of the restitution coefficient vs. the impact velocity, contrary to the usual approach where it only decreases with the velocity. We also found that the experimental cooling time is also much shorter than the one predicted on the basis of constant or decreasing restitution coefficient. A better agreement between theory and experiment is found if we take into account either the rotational degree of freedom or the velocity dependence of the coefficient of restitution.

05.20.Dd - Kinetic theory.
45.70.-n - Granular systems.
45.50.-j - Dynamics and kinematics of a particle and a system of particles.

© EPLA 2009