Dynamics of sheared granular layers

Collaborators: J. Gollub, W. Losert, S. Nasuno, A. Kudrolli, A. Bak, J.-C. Geminard, and P. Ingebretson

Sensitive measurements of the frictional force and dilation are performed on sheared granular layers with fast time resolution and simultaneous optical imaging.

Schematic diagram of the apparatus, showing the granular layer E and a transparent cover plate G pushed by a leaf spring C connected to a translating stage A. Two inductive sensors B1 and B2 detect the deflection of the leaf spring and dilation of the granular layer. The microscope objective D is also shown.

Stick-slip dynamics occurs for low imposed velocity of the top layer, with a transition to continuous motion at a higher velocity. Several studies carried out on this system:

This work was highlighted in Physics Today, September 1997, p. 17.

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Last modified on 11/17/99.