Nonlinear Physics Lab


Mono-layer Granular Poiseuille Flow
           -------- rolling spheres on a smooth incline 

"Two-dimensional granular Poiseuille Flow on an incline: multiple dynamical regimes", J-C Tsai, W. Losert, G.A. Voth, and J.P. Gollub, Phys. Rev. E 65, 011306 (2002).

Click here for MPEG Movies of typical flows


     We investigate experimentally the flow of a monolayer of spherical beads through a channel on a smooth incline that is bounded by rough sidewalls.  Using high speed video imaging and particle tracking, we measure the positions and velocities of all particles in the field of view. We find that the flows are accelerating and dilute if the channel exit is open. On the other hand, if the exit is constricted, flows can reach a state in which the local time-averaged velocity is invariant along the stream. In the latter case, we find a continuous transition from an oscillatorytwo-phase flow (2PF) regime with wide density variations to a uniform dense flow (UDF) regime, depending on the channel width and the mean flow speed. These two regimes exhibit distinct density variation, time regularity, and transverse profiles. The rough sidewalls are found to be necessary for the 2PF regime. In the dense regions of both flows, particles exhibit temporary arches, long-range correlated velocities, inhomogenuous propagation of disturbances, and hexagonal lattice structures. On the other hand, the dilute regions of the two-phase flow are nearly collisionless. Existing models cannot fully describe the dynamics of both the dense and the dilute regions, or explain the spontaneous switching between them.