Volume 70, Number 4, May 2005
|Page(s)||478 - 484|
|Section||Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics|
|Published online||15 April 2005|
Towards a continuum theory of clustering in a freely cooling inelastic gas
Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem 91904, Israel
2 Laboratoire de Physique Théorique (UMR 8627 du CNRS), Bâtiment 210 Université de Paris-Sud - 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
Accepted: 24 March 2005
We performed molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the clustering instability of a freely cooling dilute gas of inelastically colliding disks in a quasi–one-dimensional setting. We observe that, as the gas cools, the shear stress becomes negligibly small, and the gas flows by inertia only. Finite-time singularities, intrinsic in such a flow, are arrested only when close-packed clusters are formed. We observe that the late-time dynamics of this system are describable by the Burgers equation with vanishing viscosity, and predict the long-time coarsening behavior.
PACS: 45.70.-n – Granular systems / 45.70.Qj – Pattern formation
© EDP Sciences, 2005
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