- Uniform shock waves in disordered granular matter
- Physical Review E
- Volume | Issue number
- 86 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
The confining pressure P is perhaps the most important parameter controlling the properties of granular matter. Strongly compressed granular media are, in many respects, simple solids in which elastic perturbations travel as ordinary phonons. However, the speed of sound in granular aggregates continuously decreases as the confining pressure decreases, completely vanishing at the jamming-unjamming transition. This anomalous behavior suggests that the transport of energy at low pressures should not be dominated by phonons. In this work we use simulations and theory to show how the response of granular systems becomes increasingly nonlinear as pressure decreases. In the low-pressure regime the elastic energy is found to be mainly transported through nonlinear waves and shocks. We numerically characterize the propagation speed, shape, and stability of these shocks and model the dependence of the shock speed on pressure and impact intensity by a simple analytical approach.
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