Phenomena

Granular Gases

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Vibrating particles or granular materials can produce many fluid-like behaviors. In this video, researchers demonstrate how a granular gas made up of particles of two sizes behaves at different conditions. By tweaking the amplitude of the vibration, they alter how the particles cluster in a divided container. At large vibrational amplitudes, the particles behave much like a gas–energetic and spread out. At lower amplitudes, though, the particle density and the number of particle collisions increases. Each collision dissipates some of a particle’s energy; more collisions means less energy available to escape. As a result, the particles cluster, forming an attractor that draws in additional particles over time. (Video credit: R. Mikkelson et al.)

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