Transition from a dissipative to a quasi-elastic system of particles with tunable repulsive interactions
Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, MSC, CNRS (UMR 7057) - 75013 Paris, France
Received: 24 March 2014
Accepted: 5 May 2014
A two-dimensional system of particles with tunable repulsive interactions is experimentally investigated. Soft ferromagnetic particles are placed on a vibrating rough plate and vertically confined, so that they perform a horizontal Brownian motion in a cell. When immersed in an external vertical magnetic field, the particles become magnetised and thus interact according to a dipolar repulsive law. As the amplitude of the magnetic field is increased, magnetic repulsion raises and the rate of inelastic collisions decreases. Studying notably the pair correlation function and the particle velocity distributions, we show that the typical properties of such a dissipative out-of-equilibrium granular gas are progressively lost, to approach those expected for a usual gas at thermodynamic equilibrium. For stronger interaction strengths, the system gradually solidifies towards a hexagonal crystal. This new setup could consequently be used as a model experimental system for out-of-equilibrium statistical physics, in which the distance to the quasi-elastic limit can be accurately controlled.
PACS: 45.70.-n – Granular systems / 64.70.-p – Specific phase transitions
© EPLA, 2014