Volume 96, Number 4, November 2011
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics|
|Published online||11 November 2011|
Packaging of granular bead chain
Institute of Electronics Engineering, National Tsing-Hua University - Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, Republic of China
2 Department of Physics, National Tsing-Hua University - Hsinchu, Taiwan 300, Republic of China
3 Holistic Education Center, St. John's University, Tamsui - Taiwan 251, Republic of China
4 Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica - Taipei, Taiwan 115, Republic of China
Accepted: 5 October 2011
We find that a freely moving granular chain can be pushed, against the entropic force, into a confined cell if the passage to the cell is a channel of truncated-cone shape. In this setting, the granular chain, the cell and the channel can be considered as a mechanical analog of a DNA molecular, a bacteriophage and a portal motor, respectively. The force generated by the scaled-up analog of the mechanical motor and the packaging speed are found to be consistent with the real bacteriophage Φ29 portal motor. Pauses and slips found in single-molecule experiments of DNA packaging of the bacteriophage are also observed in the analog system.
PACS: 45.70.-n – Granular systems / 45.50.-j – Dynamics and kinematics of a particle and a system of particles / 51.10.+y – Kinetic and transport theory of gases
© EPLA, 2011
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