Determination of Contact Forces in Model Granular Systems

Trushant Majmudar

Granular materials consist of a large number of discrete macroscopic particles interacting with each other via contact forces. They exhibit behavior similar to solids, liquids and gases in different situations. Although simple in their composition, the wide range of unusual phenomena exhibited by them is predominantly the result of highly dissipative and nonlinear contact forces. Measurement of these contact forces would therefore be highly useful even in static situations. I intend to describe one such method we have developed for a model granular system composed of photo-elastic disks. The method consists of extracting contact forces by fitting experimental images to a theoretical model. Distributions of normal and tangential forces are obtained for a simple sheared system with the use of this method.I will also describe ongoing and future projects.

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