Journals

Authors:
Araújo, N. A. M.; Janssen, L. M. C.; Barois, T.; et al.

Magazine:
SOFT MATTER
ISSN:
1744-6848

Year:
2023
Vol:
19
N°:
9
Pp:
1695 - 1704

Self-organisation is the spontaneous emergence of spatio-temporal structures and patterns from the interaction of smaller individual units. Examples are found across many scales in very different systems and scientific disciplines, from physics, materials science and robotics to biology, geophysics and astronomy. Recent research has highlighted how self-organisation can be both mediated and controlled by confinement. Confinement is an action over a system that limits its units' translational and rotational degrees of freedom, thus also influencing the system's phase space probability density; it can function as either a catalyst or inhibitor of self-organisation. Confinement can then become a means to actively steer the emergence or suppression of collective phenomena in space and time. Here, to provide a common framework and perspective for future research, we examine the role of confinement in the self-organisation of soft-matter systems and identify overarching scientific challenges that need to be addressed to harness its full scientific and technological potential in soft matter and related fields. By drawing analogies with other disciplines, this framework will accelerate a common deeper understanding of self-organisation and trigger the development of innovative strategies to steer it using confinement, with impact on, e.g., the design of smarter materials, tissue engineering for biomedicine and in guiding active matter.

Magazine:
COMMUNICATIONS PHYSICS
ISSN:
2399-3650

Year:
2022
Vol:
5
N°:
1
Pp:
4

Placing an obstacle in front of a bottleneck has been proposed as a sound alternative to improve the flow of discrete materials in a wide variety of scenarios. Nevertheless, the physical reasons behind this behavior are not fully understood and the suitability of this practice has been recently challenged for pedestrian evacuations. In this work, we experimentally demonstrate that for the case of inert grains discharging from a silo, an obstacle above the exit leads to a reduction of clog formation via two different mechanisms: i) an alteration of the kinematic properties in the outlet proximities that prevents the stabilization of arches; and ii) an introduction of a clear anisotropy in the contact fabric tensor that becomes relevant when working at a quasi-static regime. Then, both mechanisms are encompassed using a single formulation that could be inspiring for other, more complex, systems.
The mechanisms underlying clogging of granular materials exiting a container have been widely studied, but findings have been sometimes contradictory for other systems or active matter in general. The authors experimentally analyze the effect of an obstacle to prevent silo clogging, finding that the obstacle has a dual role altering both the kinematic properties of the system and the distribution of contact orientations.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2022
Vol:
106
N°:
4
Pp:
044302

We present experimental results of pedestrian evacuations through a narrow door under a prescribed safety distancing of either 1.5 or 2 meters. In this situation, flow rate augments with pedestrian velocity due to a complete absence of flow interruptions or clogs. Accordingly, the evacuation improves when the prescribed physical distance is reduced, as this implies shortening the time lapses between the exit of consecutive pedestrians. In addition, the analysis of pedestrian trajectories reveals that the distance to the first neighbor in the evacuation process is rather similar to the one obtained when pedestrians were just roaming within the arena, hence suggesting that this magnitude depends more on the crowd state (desired speed, prescribed safety distance, etc.) than on the geometry where the pedestrian flow takes place. Also, an important difference in pedestrian behavior is observed when people are asked to walk at different speeds: whereas slow pedestrians evidence a clear preference for stop-and-go motion, fast walkers display detouring and stop-and-go behavior roughly in the same proportion.

Magazine:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
ISSN:
2045-2322

Year:
2022
Vol:
12
N°:
1
Pp:
2647

The emergence of coherent vortices has been observed in a wide variety of many-body systems such as animal flocks, bacteria, colloids, vibrated granular materials or human crowds. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that pedestrians roaming within an enclosure also form vortex-like patterns which, intriguingly, only rotate counterclockwise. By implementing simple numerical simulations, we evidence that the development of swirls in many-particle systems can be described as a phase transition in which both the density of agents and their dissipative interactions with the boundaries play a determinant role. Also, for the specific case of pedestrians, we show that the preference of right-handed people (the majority in our experiments) to turn leftwards when facing a wall is the symmetry breaking mechanism needed to trigger the observed global counterclockwise rotation.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2021
Vol:
127
N°:
14
Pp:
148002

The existence of a transition from a clogged to an unclogged state has been recently proposed for the flow of macroscopic particles through bottlenecks in systems as diverse as colloidal suspensions, granular matter, or live beings. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that, for vibrated granular average, such a transition genuinely exists, and we characterize it as a function of the outlet size and vibration intensity. We confirm the suitability of the "flowing parameter" as the order parameter, and we find out that the resealed maximum acceleration of the system should be replaced as the control parameter by a dimensionless velocity that can be seen as the square root of the ratio between kinetic and potential energy. In all the investigated scenarios, we observe that, for a critical value of this control parameter S-c, there seems to be a continuous transition to an unclogged state. The data can be resealed with this critical value, which, as expected, decreases with the orifice size D. This leads to a phase diagram in the S-D plane in which clogging appears as a concave surface.

Authors:
Reddy, A. V. K. K.; Reddy, K. A. (Corresponding author); Zuriguel, Iker; et al.
Magazine:
JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT
ISSN:
1742-5468

Year:
2021
Vol:
2021
N°:
6
Pp:
063201

We report numerical results aiming to unveil the role that the shape of asymmetric dumbbells has on the emergence of clogging in a two dimensional silo. To this end, dumbbells are designed adjoining two discs of different diameter giving rise to what are known as snowman shaped particles. Then, simulations performed for several outlet widths reveal that the standard case of a dumbbell conformed by two equally sized discs, is the one for which the system clogs more frequently. In this way, as the size difference among the two discs becomes greater, the system evolves from a dumbbell-like to a disc-like behaviour. This phenomenon correlates very well with the evolution of several properties of the clogged arches, such as regularity or particles pressure. Finally, the analysis of the orientations of clogged dumbbells reveals a strong alignment of their long axis with the exit direction which seems to be barely dependent on the dumbbell asymmetry and the outlet size.

Magazine:
JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT
ISSN:
1742-5468

Year:
2021
Vol:
2021
N°:
4
Pp:
043401

We report experimental results of the speed-density relation emerging in pedestrian dynamics when individuals keep a prescribed safety distance among them. To this end, we characterize the movement of a group of people roaming inside an enclosure varying different experimental parameters: (i) global density, (ii) prescribed walking speed, and (iii) suggested safety distance. Then, by means of the Voronoi diagram we are able to compute the local density associated to each pedestrian, which is afterward correlated with its corresponding velocity at each time. In this way, we discover a strong dependence of the speed-density relation on the experimental conditions, especially with the (prescribed) free speed. We also observe that when pedestrians walk slowly, the speed-density relation depends on the global macroscopic density of the system, and not only on the local one. Finally, we demonstrate that for the same experiment, each pedestrian follows a distinct behavior, thus giving rise to multiple speed-density curves.

Magazine:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
ISSN:
2045-2322

Year:
2021
Vol:
11
N°:
1
Pp:
1534

With people trying to keep a safe distance from others due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the way in which pedestrians walk has completely changed since the pandemic broke out1,2. In this work, laboratory experiments demonstrate the effect of several variables-such as the pedestrian density, the walking speed and the prescribed safety distance-on the interpersonal distance established when people move within relatively dense crowds. Notably, we observe that the density should not be higher than 0.16 pedestrians per square meter (around 6 m2 per pedestrian) in order to guarantee an interpersonal distance of 1 m. Although the extrapolation of our findings to other more realistic scenarios is not straightforward, they can be used as a first approach to establish density restrictions in urban and architectonic spaces based on scientific evidence.

Magazine:
JOURNAL OF FLUID MECHANICS
ISSN:
0022-1120

Year:
2021
Vol:
925
Pgs:
A24

The dynamics of granular average within a silo in which the grain velocities are controlled by a conveyor belt has been experimentally investigated. To this end, the building of coarse-grained field maps of different magnitudes has allowed a deep analysis of the flow properties as a function of two parameters: the orifice size and the belt velocity. First, the internal dynamics of the particles within the silo has been fully characterized by the solid fraction, the velocity of the particles and the kinetic stress. Then, the analysis of the vertical profiles of the same magnitude (plus the acceleration) has allowed connection of the internal dynamics with the flow rate. In particular, we show that the gamma parameter - which accounts for the integration of the normalized acceleration along the vertical direction - can successfully discriminate the kind of flow established within the silo (from the quasistatic regime to the free discharge) depending on the outlet size and belt velocity.

Magazine:
THE EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL CONFERENCES
ISSN:
2101-6275

Year:
2021
Vol:
249
Pgs:
03009

Flowing grains can clog an orifice by developing arches, an undesirable event in many cases. Several strategies have been put forward to avoid this. One of them is to vibrate the system in order to undo the clogging. Nevertheless, the time taken to break an arch under a constant vibration has a distribution displaying a heavy tail. This can lead to a situation where the average breaking time is not well defined. Moreover, it has been observed in some experiments that these tails tend to flatten for very long times, exacerbating the problem. Here we will review two conceptual frameworks that have been proposed to understand the phenomenon and discuss their physical implications.

Authors:
Parisi, D. R. (Corresponding author); Sartorio, A. G.; Colonnello, J. R.; et al.

Magazine:
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ISSN:
0027-8424

Year:
2021
Vol:
118
N°:
50
Pp:
e2107827118

We characterize the dynamics of runners in the famous Running of the Bulls Festival by computing the individual and global velocities and densities, as well as the crowd pressure. In contrast with all previously studied pedestrian systems, we unveil a unique regime in which speed increases with density that can be understood in terms of a time-dependent desired velocity of the runners. Also, we discover the existence of an inaccessible region in the speed-density state diagram that is explained by falls of runners. With all these ingredients, we propose a generalization of the pedestrian fundamental diagram for a scenario in which people with different desired speeds coexist.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2020
Vol:
102
N°:
1
Pp:
010902(R)

We report experimental evidence of clogging due to the spontaneous development of hanging arches when a granular sample composed of spherical particles flows down a narrow vertical pipe. These arches, akin to the ones responsible for silo clogging, can only be possible due to the role of frictional forces; otherwise they will be unstable. We find that, contrary to the silo case, the probability of clogging in vertical narrow tubes does not decrease monotonically with the ratio of the pipe-to-particle diameters. This behaviour is related to the clogging prevention caused by the spontaneous ordering of particles apparent in certain aspect ratios. More importantly, by means of numerical simulations, we discover that the interparticle normal force distributions broaden in systems with higher probability of clogging. This feature, which has been proposed before as a distinctive feature of jamming in sheared granular samples, suggests that clogging and jamming are connected in pipe flow.

Magazine:
SAFETY SCIENCE
ISSN:
0925-7535

Year:
2020
Vol:
121
Ppgs:
394 - 402

We report experimental measurements obtained during the evacuation of 180 soldiers through a narrow door. Several conditions are analyzed in the evacuation drills, such as the degree of competitiveness (from rush to shove) and the influence of an obstacle placed before the exit. From the data, we compute the flow rate through the door and the velocity and density fields, as well as a map of the local evacuation time. We also present novel results on the pressure that the individuals exert on the wall adjacent to the door. Our study challenges the idea that an obstacle could be beneficial for pedestrian evacuations because of a hypothetical alleviation of pressure at the door. At the same time, we discover a correlation among the largest pressure peaks and the development of clogging.

Magazine:
POWDER TECHNOLOGY
ISSN:
0032-5910

Year:
2020
Vol:
360
Ppgs:
104 - 111

By means of an experimental analysis we study the granular flow in a two-dimensional silo discharged through a conveyor belt placed below the outlet. The results exhibit a saturation of the flow rate, W, with the belt velocity, v(b). Moreover, we find a dependence of the flow rate and grains velocity on the outlet size D which differs from the purely gravitational regime. To explain it, we propose an analysis based on mass conservation arguments that agrees with the experimental data when v(b) is sufficiently low. For large values of this variable, it seems to be a smooth transition between a free discharge regime (for small D) and a belt extraction regime (for large D) where the proposed model is also valid. Our analysis provides a useful connection between the flow rate and the exit geometry, a feature that may be very useful from a practical point of view. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2020
Vol:
102
N°:
1 - 1

We explore the role that the obstacle position plays in the evacuation time of agents when leaving a room. To this end, we simulate a system of nonsymmetric spherocylinders that have a prescribed desired velocity and angular orientation. In this way, we reproduce the nonmonotonous dependence of the pedestrian flow rate on the obstacle distance to the door. For short distances, the obstacle delays the evacuation because the exit size is effectively reduced; i.e., the distance between the obstacle and the wall is smaller than the door width. By increasing the obstacle distance to the door, clogging is reduced leading to an optimal obstacle position (maximum flow rate) in agreement with results reported in numerical simulations of pedestrian evacuations and granular flows. For further locations, however, a counterintuitive behavior occurs as the flow rate values fall again below the one corresponding to the case without obstacle. Analyzing the head-times distribution, we evidence that this new feature is not linked to the formation of clogs, but is caused by a reduction of the efficiency of the agent's instantaneous flow rate when the exit is not blocked.

Magazine:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
ISSN:
2045-2322

Year:
2020
Vol:
10
N°:
1
Pp:
15947

Although some experimental evidence showed that an obstacle placed in front of a door allows making people's evacuations faster, the efficacy of such a solution has been debated for over 15 years. Researchers are split between those who found the obstacle beneficial and those who could not find a significant difference without it. One of the reasons for the several conclusions lies in the variety of the experiments performed so far, both in terms of competitiveness among participants, geometrical configuration and number of participants. In this work, two unique datasets relative to evacuations with/without obstacle and comprising low and high competitiveness are analyzed using state-of-the-art definitions for crowd dynamics. In particular, the so-called congestion level is employed to measure the smoothness of collective motion. Results for extreme conditions show that, on the overall, the obstacle does not reduce density and congestion level and it could rather slightly increase it. From this perspective, the obstacle was found simply shifting the dangerous spots from the area in front of the exit to the regions between the obstacle and the wall. On the other side, it was however confirmed, that the obstacle can stabilize longitudinal crowd waves, thus reducing the risk of trampling, which could be as important (in terms of safety) as improving the evacuation time.

Magazine:
POWDER TECHNOLOGY
ISSN:
0032-5910

Year:
2020
Vol:
366
Pgs:
488 - 496

Hoppers are one of the most popular devices implemented to allow precise flow control mechanism when dispensing granulate materials from silos and other containers. Despite its ubiquity in many industrial processes, the effect that hopper geometry has on the flow rate is still poorly understood. In this work, we study the influence of the hopper angle on the main two variables that determine the flow rate: the solid-fraction and the yelorities of the particles. To this end, we use a quasi-two-dimensional system which allows a precise characterization of the profiles of these variables at the orifice. Using these experimental results, we compute the flow-density vector and obtain the resulting expression for the volumetric flow rate. Finally, we compare this expression with an equation introduced back in 1961 by RL Brown. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2020
Vol:
101
N°:
6
Pp:
060901

When suspended particles are pushed by liquid flow through a constricted channel, they might either pass the bottleneck without trouble or encounter a permanent clog that will stop them forever. However, they may also flow intermittently with great sensitivity to the neck-to-particle size ratio D/d. In this Rapid Communication, we experimentally explore the limits of the intermittent regime for a dense suspension through a single bottleneck as a function of this parameter. To this end, we make use of high time- and space-resolution experiments to obtain the distributions of arrest times (T) between successive bursts, which display power-law tails (alpha T-alpha) with characteristic exponents. These exponents compare well with the ones found for as disparate situations as the evacuation of pedestrians from a room, the entry of a flock of sheep into a shed, or the discharge of particles from a silo. Nevertheless, the intrinsic properties of our system (i.e., channel geometry, driving and interaction forces, particle size distribution) seem to introduce a sharp transition from a clogged state (alpha <= 2) to a continuous flow, where clogs do not develop at all. This contrasts with the results obtained in other systems where intermittent flow, with power-law exponents above two, were obtained.

Authors:
Adrian, J.; Amos, M.; Baratchi, M.; et al.

Magazine:
COLLECTIVE DYNAMICS
ISSN:
2366-8539

Year:
2019
Vol:
4
N°:
A19
Pgs:
1 - 13

This article presents a glossary of terms that are frequently used in research on human crowds. This topic is inherently multidisciplinary as it includes work in and across computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, psychology and social science, for example. We do not view the glossary presented here as a collection of finalised and formal definitions. Instead, we suggest it is a snapshot of current views and the starting point of an ongoing process that we hope will be useful in providing some guidance on the use of terminology to develop a mutual understanding across disciplines. The glossary was developed collaboratively during a multidisciplinary meeting. We deliberately allow several definitions of terms, to reflect the confluence of disciplines in the field. This also reflects the fact not all contributors necessarily agree with all definitions in this glossary.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2019
Vol:
99
N°:
3
Pp:
1 - 6

We present experimental results of the effect of the hopper angle on the clogging of grains discharged from a two-dimensional silo under gravity action. We observe that the probability of clogging can be reduced by three orders of magnitude by increasing the hopper angle. In addition, we find that for very large hopper angles, the avalanche size (s) grows with the outlet size (D) stepwise, in contrast to the case of a flat-bottom silo for which s grows smoothly with D. This surprising effect is originated from the static equilibrium requirement imposed by the hopper geometry to the arch that arrests the flow. The hopper angle sets the bounds of the possible angles of the vectors connecting consecutive beads in the arch. As a consequence, only a small and specific portion of
the arches that jam a flat-bottom silo can survive in hoppers.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2019
Vol:
123
N°:
21
Pp:
218004

We experimentally analyse the intermittent nature of granular silo flow when the discharge is controlled by an extracting belt at the bottom. We discover the existence of four different scenarios. For low extraction rates, the system is characterized by an on-off intermittency. When the extraction rate is increased the structure functions of the grains velocity increments, calculated for different lag times, reveal the emergence of multifractal intermittency. Finally, for very high extraction rates that approach the purely gravitational discharge, we observe that the dynamics become dependent on the outlet size. For large orifices the behavior is monofractal, whereas for small ones, the fluctuations of the velocity increments deviate from Gaussianity even for very large time lags.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2019
Vol:
100
N°:
3
Pp:
032901

We report an experiment on the unclogging dynamics in a two-dimensional silo submitted to a sustained gentle vibration. We find that arches present a jerking motion where rearrangements in the positions of their beads are interspersed with quiescent periods. This behaviour occurs for both arches that break down and those that withstand the external perturbation: Arches evolve until they either collapse or get trapped in a stable configuration. This evolution is described in terms of a scalar variable characterizing the arch shape that can be modeled as a continuous-time random walk. By studying the diffusivity of this variable, we show that the unclogging is a weakly nonergodic process. Remarkably, arches that do not collapse explore different configurations before settling in one of them and break ergodicity much in the same way than arches that break down.

Magazine:
GRANULAR MATTER
ISSN:
1434-5021

Year:
2019
Vol:
21
N°:
3
Pp:
47

In this paper we report experimental and numerical results on the velocity fluctuations of grains inside silos. Although simple models exist for the stationary and continuous approximation of the flow, the variability at the microscopic level (both ensemble averages and the fluctuations of individual particles around the average) reveal non-Gaussian statistics that resist a straightforward treatment. We also show that decreasing the orifice size causes an increase in the relative amplitude of the velocity fluctuations, meaning that the intermittency grows bigger.

Magazine:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
ISSN:
2045-2322

Year:
2018
Vol:
8
N°:
1
Pp:
9133

We report extensive numerical simulations of the flow of anisotropic self-propelled particles through a constriction. In particular, we explore the role of the particles' desired orientation with respect to the moving direction on the system flowability. We observe that when particles propel along the direction of their long axis (longitudinal orientation) the flow-rate notably reduces compared with the case of propulsion along the short axis (transversal orientation). And this is so even when the effective section (measured as the number of particles that are necessary to span the whole outlet) is larger for the case of longitudinal propulsion. This counterintuitive result is explained in terms of the formation of clogging structures at the outlet, which are revealed to have higher stability when the particles align along the long axis. This generic result might be applied to many different systems flowing through bottlenecks such as microbial populations or different kind of cells. Indeed, it has already a straightforward connection with recent results of pedestrian (which self-propel transversally oriented) and mice or sheep (which self-propel longitudinally oriented).

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2018
Vol:
121
N°:
13
Pp:
138001

Based on the implementation of a novel silo discharge procedure, we are able to control the grains velocities regardless of the outlet size. This allows isolating the geometrical and kinematic contributions to the clogging process. We find that, for a given outlet size, reducing the grains velocities to extremely low values leads to a clogging probability increment of almost two orders of magnitude, hence revealing the importance of particle kinematics in the silo clogging process. Then, we explore the contribution of both variables, outlet size and grains velocity, and we find that our results agree with an already known exponential expression that relates clogging probability with outlet size. We propose a modification of such expression revealing that only two parameters are necessary to fit all the data: one is related with the geometry of the problem, and the other with the grains kinematics.

Magazine:
NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS
ISSN:
1367-2630

The placement of obstacles in front of doors is believed to be an effective strategy to increase the flow of pedestrians, hence improving the evacuation process. Since it was first suggested, this counter-intuitive feature is considered a hallmark of pedestrian flows through bottlenecks. Indeed, despite the little experimental evidence, the placement of an obstacle has been hailed as the panacea for solving evacuation problems. In this work, we challenge this idea and experimentally demonstrate that the pedestrians flow rate is not necessarily altered by the presence of an obstacle. This result-which is at odds with recent demonstrations on its suitability for the cases of granular average, sheep and mice- differs from the outcomes of most of existing numerical models, and warns about the risks of carelessly extrapolating animal behaviour to humans. Our experimental findings also reveal an unnoticed phenomenon in relation with the crowd movement in front of the exit: in competitive evacuations, an obstacle attenuates the development of collective transversal rushes, which are hazardous as they might cause falls.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2018
Vol:
97
N°:
4
Pp:
042904

We experimentally explore the vibration-induced unclogging of arches halting the flow in a two-dimensional silo. The endurance of arches is determined by carrying out a survival analysis of their breaking times. By analyzing the dynamics of two morphological variables, we demonstrate that arches evolve toward less regular structures and it seems that there may exist a certain degree of irregularity that the arch reaches before collapsing. Moreover, we put forward that ¿ (the standard deviation of all angles between consecutive beads) describes faithfully the morphological evolution of the arch. Focusing on long-lasting arches, we study ¿ by calculating its two-time autocorrelation function and its mean-squared displacement. In particular, the apparent logarithmic increase of the correlation and the decrease of the mean-squared displacement of ¿ when the waiting time is increased reveal a slowing down of the dynamics. This behaviour is a clear hallmark of aging phenomena and confirms the lack of ergodicity in the unclogging dynamics. Our findings provide new insights on how an arch tends to destabilize and how the probability that it breaks with a long sustained vibration decreases with time.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2018
Vol:
120
N°:
19
Pp:
198002

Granular flows through narrow outlets may be interrupted by the formation of arches or vaults that clog
the exit. These clogs may be destroyed by vibrations. A feature which remains elusive is the broad
distribution pð¿Þ of clog lifetimes ¿ measured under constant vibrations. Here, we propose a simple model
for arch breaking, in which the vibrations are formally equivalent to thermal fluctuations in a Langevin
equation; the rupture of an arch corresponds to the escape from an energy trap. We infer the distribution of
trap depths from experiments made in two-dimensional hoppers. Using this distribution, we show that the
model captures the empirically observed heavy tails in pð¿Þ. These heavy tails flatten at large ¿, consistently with experimental observations under weak vibrations.
with experimental observations under weak vibrations. But, here, we find that this flattening is systematic,
which casts doubt on the ability of gentle vibrations to restore a finite outflow forever. The trap model also
replicates recent results on the effect of increasing gravity on the statistics of clog formation in a static silo.
Therefore, the proposed framework points to a common physical underpinning to the processes of clogging
and unclogging, despite their different statistics.

Authors:
Patterson, G. A. ; Fierens, P. I. ; Sangiuliano Jimka, F. ; et al.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2017
Vol:
119
N°:
24
Pp:
248301

We report experimental results on the competitive passage of elongated self-propelled vehicles rushing through a constriction. For the chosen experimental conditions, we observe the emergence of intermittencies similar to those reported previously for active matter passing through narrow doors. Noteworthy, we find that, when the number of individuals crowding in front of the bottleneck increases, there is a transition from an unclogged to a clogged state characterized by a lack of convergence of the mean clog duration as the measuring time increases. It is demonstrated that this transition-which was reported previously only for externally vibrated systems such as colloids or granulars-appears also for self-propelled agents. This suggests that the transition should also occur for the flow through constrictions of living agents (e.g., humans and sheep), an issue that has been elusive so far in experiments due to safety risks.

Magazine:
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ISSN:
0027-8424

Year:
2017
Vol:
114
N°:
39
Pp:
E8274 ¿ E8283

Alpha-Synuclein (aSyn) is the main driver of neurodegenerative diseases known as ¿synucleinopathies,¿ but the mechanisms underlying this toxicity remain poorly understood. To investigate aSyn toxic mechanisms, we have developed a primary neuronal model in which a longitudinal survival analysis can be performed by following the overexpression of fluorescently tagged WT or pathologically mutant aSyn constructs. Most aSyn mutations linked to neurodegenerative disease hindered neuronal survival in this model; of these mutations, the E46K mutation proved to be the most toxic. While E46K induced robust PLK2-dependent aSyn phosphorylation at serine 129, inhibiting this phosphorylation did not alleviate aSyn toxicity, strongly suggesting that this pathological hallmark of synucleinopathies is an epiphenomenon. Optical pulse-chase experiments with Dendra2-tagged aSyn versions indicated that the E46K mutation does not alter aSyn protein turnover. Moreover, since the mutation did not promote overt aSyn aggregation, we conclude that E46K toxicity was driven by soluble species. Finally, we developed an assay to assess whether neurons expressing E46K aSyn affect the survival of neighbouring control neurons. Although we identified a minor non¿cell-autonomous component spatially restricted to proximal neurons, most E46K aSyn toxicity was cell autonomous. Thus, we have been able to recapitulate the toxicity of soluble aSyn species at a stage preceding aggregation, detecting non¿cell-autonomous

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2017
Vol:
119
N°:
22
Pp:
228002

We experimentally analyze the compaction dynamics of an ensemble of cubic particles submitted to a novel type of excitation. Instead of the standard tapping procedure used in granular materials we apply alternative twists to the cylindrical container. Under this agitation, the development of shear forces among the different layers of cubes leads to particle alignment. As a result, the packing fraction grows monotonically with the number of twists. If the intensity of the excitations is sufficiently large, an ordered final state is reached where the volume fraction is the densest possible compatible with the boundary condition. This ordered final state resembles the tetratic or cubatic phases observed in colloids.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW FLUIDS
ISSN:
2469-990X

Year:
2017
Vol:
2
N°:
8
Pp:
084304

We demonstrate experimentally that clogging in a silo correlates with some features of the particle velocities in the outlet proximities. This finding, that links the formation of clogs with a kinematic property of the system, is obtained by looking at the effect that the position of the lateral walls of the silo has on the flow and clogging behavior. Surprisingly, the avalanche size depends nonmonotonically on the distance of the outlet from the lateral walls. Apart from evidencing the relevance of a parameter that has been traditionally overlooked in bottleneck flow, this nonmonotonicity supposes a benchmark with which to explore the correlation of clogging probability with different variables within the system. Among these, we find that the velocity of the particles above the outlet and their fluctuations seem to be behind the nonmonotonicity in the avalanche size versus wall distance curve.

Magazine:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
ISSN:
2045-2322

Year:
2017
Vol:
7
N°:
1
Pp:
10792

When a sizable number of people evacuate a room, if the door is not large enough, an accumulation of pedestrians in front of the exit may take place. This is the cause of emerging collective phenomena where the density is believed to be the key variable determining the pedestrian dynamics. Here, we show that when sustained contact among the individuals exists, density is not enough to describe the evacuation, and propose that at least another variable -such as the kinetic stress- is required. We recorded evacuation drills with different degrees of competitiveness where the individuals are allowed to moderately push each other in their way out. We obtain the density, velocity and kinetic stress fields over time, showing that competitiveness strongly affects them and evidencing patterns which have been never observed in previous (low pressure) evacuation experiments. For the highest competitiveness scenario, we detect the development of sudden collective motions. These movements are related to a B increase of the kinetic stress and a reduction of the velocity towards the door, but do not depend on the density.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2017
Vol:
95
N°:
5
Pp:
052904

We experimentally analyze the effect that particle size has on the mass flow rate of a quasi two-dimensional silo discharged by gravity. In a previous work, Janda et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 248001 (2012)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.108.248001] introduced a new expression for the mass flow rate based on a detailed experimental analysis of the flow for 1-mm diameter beads. Here, we aim to extend these results by using particles of larger sizes and a variable that was not explicitly included in the proposed expression. We show that the velocity and density profiles at the outlet are self-similar and scale with the outlet size with the same functionalities as in the case of 1-mm particles. Nevertheless, some discrepancies are evidenced in the values of the fitting parameters. In particular, we observe that larger particles lead to higher velocities and lower packing fractions at the orifice. Intriguingly, both magnitudes seem to compensate giving rise to very similar flow rates. In order to shed light on the origin of this behavior we have computed fields of a solid fraction, velocity, and a kinetic-stress like variable in the region above the orifice.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2017
Vol:
95
N°:
4
Pp:
042319

We present a numerical framework to simulate pedestrian dynamics in highly competitive conditions by means of a force-based model implemented with spherocylindrical particles instead of the traditional, symmetric disks. This modification of the individuals' shape allows one to naturally reproduce recent experimental findings of room evacuations through narrow doors in situations where the contact pressure among the pedestrians was rather large. In particular, we obtain a power-law tail distribution of the time lapses between the passage of consecutive individuals. In addition, we show that this improvement leads to new features where the particles' rotation acquires great significance.

Magazine:
SOFT MATTER
ISSN:
1744-683X

Year:
2016
Vol:
12
N°:
1
Pp:
123 - 130

By means of extensive numerical simulations we disclose the role of the driving force in the clogging of inert particles passing through a constriction. We uncover the effect of gravity and outlet size on the flow rate and kinetic energy within the system, and use these quantities to deepen our understanding of the blocking process. First, we confirm the existence of a finite avalanche size when the driving force tends to zero. The magnitude of this limit avalanche size grows with the outlet size, as expected due to geometrical reasons. In addition, there is an augment of the avalanche size when the driving force is increased, an effect that is enhanced by the outlet size. This phenomenology is explained by assuming that in order to get a stable clog developed, two conditions must be fulfilled: (1) an arch spanning the outlet size should be formed; (2) the arch should resist until the complete dissipation of the kinetic energy within the system. From these assumptions, we are able to obtain the probability that an arch gets destabilized, which is shown to primarily depend on the square root of the kinetic energy. A minor additional dependence of the outlet size is also observed which is explained in the light of recent results of the arch resistance in vibrated silos.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2016
Vol:
94
N°:
3
Pp:
032302

In a recent work [Phys. Rev. E 91, 022808 (2015)] it was reported that placing an obstacle in front of a gate has a beneficial effect in the flow of sheep through it. Here, we extend such results by implementing three different obstacle positions. We have observed that the flow is improved in two cases, while it worsens in the other one; the last instance happens when the obstacle is too close to the gate. In this situation, the outcomes suggest that clogging develops between the doorjamb and the obstacle, contrary to the cases when the obstacle is farther, in which case clogging always occurs at the very door. The effectiveness of the obstacle (a strategy put forward to alleviate clogging in emergency exits) is therefore quite sensitive to its location. In addition, the study of the temporal evolution of the flow rate as the test develops makes evident a steady behavior during the entire duration of the entrance. This result is at odds with recent findings in human evacuation tests where the flow rate varies over time, therefore challenging the fairness of straightforward comparisons between pedestrian behaviour and animal experimental observations.

Magazine:
JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT
ISSN:
1742-5468

Year:
2016
N°:
4
Pgs:
043402

We report a thorough analysis of the intermittent flow of pedestrians through a narrow door. The observations include five different sets of evacuation drills with which we have investigated the effect of door size and competitiveness on the flow dynamics. Although the outcomes are in general compatible with the existence of the faster-is-slower effect, the temporal evolution of the instantaneous flow rate provides evidence of new features. These stress the crucial role of the number of people performing the tests, which has an influence on the obtained results. Once the transients at the beginning and end of the evacuation are removed, we have found that the time lapses between the passage of two consecutive pedestrians display heavy-tailed distributions in all the scenarios studied. Meanwhile, the distribution of burst sizes decays exponentially; this can be linked to a constant probability of finding a long-lasting clog during the evacuation process. Based on these results, a discussion is presented on the caution that should be exercised when measuring or describing the intermittent flow of pedestrians through narrow doors.

Magazine:
GRANULAR MATTER
ISSN:
1434-5021

Year:
2015
Vol:
17
N°:
5
Pgs:
545 - 551

We report experimental results for pipe flow of granular materials discharged through vertical narrow tubes by means of a conveyor belt placed at the bottom. When the diameter of the tube is not much larger than the particle size, the system clogs due to the development of hanging arches that are able to support the weight of the grains above them. We find that the time it takes to develop a stable clog decays exponentially, which is compatible with a clogging probability that remains constant during the discharge. From this, and making an analogy with the discharge of silos, we introduce the avalanche size, measured in terms of the number of discharged tubes before the system clogs. The mean avalanche size is found to increase as the tube diameter is enlarged, the velocity of the conveyor belt grows, and the tube tilt deviates from the vertical. 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2015
Vol:
114
N°:
23
Pp:
238002

link DADUN:

http: //hdl.handle.net/10171/38680

Several theoretical predictions of the mass flow rate of granular average discharged from a silo are based
on the spontaneous development of a free-fall arch region, the existence of which is still controversial. In
this Letter, we study experimentally and numerically the particle flow through an orifice placed at the
bottom of 2D and 3D silos. The implementation of a coarse-grained technique allows a thorough
description of all the kinetic and micromechanical properties of the particle flow in the outlet proximities.
Though the free-fall arch does not exist as traditionally understood¿a region above which particles have
negligible velocity and below which particles fall solely under gravity action¿we discover that the kinetic
pressure displays a well-defined transition in a position that scales with the outlet size. This universal
scaling explains why the free-fall arch picture has served as an approximation to describe the flow rate in
the discharge of silos.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2015
Vol:
92
N°:
6
Pp:
062817

The ¿faster-is-slower¿ (FIS) effect was first predicted by computer simulations of the egress of pedestrians through a narrow exit [D. Helbing, I. J. Farkas, and T. Vicsek, Nature (London) 407, 487 (2000)]. FIS refers to the finding that, under certain conditions, an excess of the individuals' vigor in the attempt to exit causes a decrease in the flow rate. In general, this effect is identified by the appearance of a minimum when plotting the total evacuation time of a crowd as a function of the pedestrian desired velocity. Here, we experimentally show that the FIS effect indeed occurs in three different systems of discrete particles flowing through a constriction: (a) humans evacuating a room, (b) a herd of sheep entering a barn, and (c) grains flowing out a 2D hopper over a vibrated incline. This finding suggests that FIS is a universal phenomenon for active matter passing through a narrowing.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2015
Vol:
91
Pgs:
022808

We present an experimental study of a flock passing through a narrow door. Video monitoring of daily routines in a farm has enabled us to collect a sizable amount of data. By measuring the time lapse between the passage of consecutive animals, some features of the flow regime can be assessed. A quantitative definition of clogging is demonstrated based on the passage time statistics. These display broad tails, which can be fitted by power laws with a relatively large exponent. On the other hand, the distribution of burst sizes robustly evidences exponential behavior. Finally, borrowing concepts from granular physics and statistical mechanics, we evaluate the effect of increasing the door size and the performance of an obstacle placed in front of it. The success of these techniques opens new possibilities regarding their eventual extension to the management of human crowds.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2015
Vol:
114
N°:
17
Pp:
178002

We report the results of an experimental study of particle-particle interactions in a horizontally shaken granular layer that undergoes a second order phase transition from a binary gas to a segregation liquid as the packing fraction C is increased. By focusing on the behavior of individual particles, the effect of C is studied on (1)the process of cluster formation, (2)cluster dynamics, and (3)cluster destruction. The outcomes indicate that the segregation is driven by two mechanisms: attraction between particles with the same properties and random motion with a characteristic length that is inversely proportional to C. All clusters investigated are found to be transient and the probability distribution functions of the separation times display a power law tail, indicating that the splitting probability decreases with time.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
2470-0045

Year:
2015
Vol:
91
N°:
6
Pp:
062203

We present experimental results on the endurance of arches that block the outlet of a two-dimensional silo when subjected to vertical vibration. In a recent paper [C. Lozano et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 068001 (2012)], it was shown that the arch resistance against vibrations is determined by the maximum angle among those formed between each particle in the bridge and its two neighbors: the larger the maximum angle is, the weaker the bridge. It has also been reported that the breaking time distribution shows a power-law tail with an exponent that depends on the outlet size, the vibration intensity, and the load [I. Zuriguel et al., Sci. Rep. 4, 7324 (2014)]. Here we connect these previous works, demonstrating the importance of the maximum angle in the arch on the exponent of the breaking time distribution. Besides, we find that the acceleration needed to break an arch does not depend on the ramp rate of the applied acceleration, but it does depend on the outlet size above which the arch is formed. We also show that high frequencies of vibration reveal a change in the behavior of the arches that endure very long times. These arches have been identified as a subset with special geometrical features. Therefore, arches that cannot be broken by means of a given external excitation might exist.

Magazine:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
ISSN:
2045-2322

Year:
2014
Vol:
4
Pgs:
7324

When a large set of discrete bodies passes through a bottleneck, the flow may become intermittent due to the development of clogs that obstruct the constriction. Clogging is observed, for instance, in colloidal suspensions, granular materials and crowd swarming, where consequences may be dramatic. Despite its ubiquity, a general framework embracing research in such a wide variety of scenarios is still lacking. We show that in systems of very different nature and scale -including sheep herds, pedestrian crowds, assemblies of grains, and colloids- the probability distribution of time lapses between the passages of consecutive bodies exhibits a power-law tail with an exponent that depends on the system condition. Consequently, we identify the transition to clogging in terms of the divergence of the average time lapse. Such a unified description allows us to put forward a qualitative clogging state diagram whose most conspicuous feature is the presence of a length scale qualitatively related to the presence of a finite size orifice. This approach helps to understand paradoxical phenomena, such as the faster-is-slower effect predicted for pedestrians evacuating a room and might become a starting point for researchers working in a wide variety of situations where clogging represents a hindrance.

Magazine:
TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PROCEDIA
ISSN:
2352-1465

Year:
2014
Vol:
2
Pgs.:
760 - 767

The Faster-Is-Slower effect (Helbing et al (2000)) is an important instance of self-organized phenomenon in pedestrian dynamics. Despite this, an experimental demonstration is still lacking. We present controlled tests where a group of students are asked to exit a room through a door. Instead of just measuring the evacuation times, we have analyzed the probability distribution of the time lapses between consecutive individuals. We show how it displays a power-law tail. This method displays clearly the Faster Is Slower effect, and also allows to assess the impact of several tactics that can be put in place to alleviate the problem.

Authors:
East, R. D. P. ; McGuinness, P. ; Box, F. ; et al.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2014
Vol:
90
N°:
5
Pp:
052205

We present the results of an experimental investigation into the effects of a sinusoidal modulation of the rotation rate on the segregation patterns formed in thin drum of granular material. The modulation transforms the base pattern formed under steady conditions by splitting or merging the initial streaks. Specifically, the relation between the frequency of modulation and the rotation rate determines the number of streaks which develop from the base state. The results are in accord with those of Fiedor and Ottino [J. Fluid. Mech. 533, 223 (2005)10.1017/S0022112005003952], and we show that their ideas apply over a wide range of parameter space. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the observed relationship is maintained for filling fractions far from 50% and generalize the result in terms of the geometry of the granular deposit.

Magazine:
PAPERS IN PHYSICS
ISSN:
1852-4249

Year:
2014
Vol:
6
Pgs:
060014

During the past decades, B improvements have been achieved in the understanding of static and dynamic properties of granular materials, giving rise to appealing new concepts like jamming, force chains, non-local rheology or the inertial number. The `saltcellar' can be seen as a canonical example of the characteristic features displayed by granular materials: an apparently smooth flow is interrupted by the formation of a mesoscopic structure (arch) above the outlet that causes a quick dissipation of all the kinetic energy within the system. In this manuscript, I will give an overview of this field paying special attention to the features of statistical distributions appearing in the clogging and unclogging processes. These distributions are essential to understand the problem and allow subsequent study of topics such as the influence of particle shape, the structure of the clogging arches and the possible existence of a critical outlet size above which the outpouring will never stop. I shall finally offer some hints about general ideas that can be explored in the next few years.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2014
Vol:
89
N°:
4
Pp:
042205

We present numerical results of the effect that the driving force has on the clogging probability of inert particles passing through a bottleneck. When the driving force is increased by four orders of magnitude, the mean avalanche size remains almost unaltered (increases 1.6 times) while the flow rate and the avalanche duration display strong dependence on this magnitude. This indicates that in order to characterize the ability of a system to clog, the right variable to consider is the number of particles that pass through the outlet. The weak dependence of this magnitude on the driving force is explained in terms of the average kinetic energy of the flowing grains that has to be dissipated in order to get an arch stabilized.

Magazine:
GRANULAR MATTER
ISSN:
1434-5021

Year:
2014
Vol:
16
N°:
4
Pp:
411 - 420

We present experimental and numerical results for particle alignment and stress distribution in packings of faceted particles deposited in a small-scale two-dimensional silo. First, we experimentally characterize the deposits' morphology in terms of the particles' aspect ratio and feeding rate. Then we use the experimental results to validate our discrete element method (DEM) based on spheropolygons. After achieving excellent agreement, we use contact forces and fabric provided by the simulations to calculate the coarse-grained stress tensor. For low feeding rates, square particles display a strong tendency to align downwards, i.e., with a diagonal parallel to gravity. This morphology leads to stress transmission towards the walls, implying a quick development of pressure saturation, in agreement with the Janssen effect. When the feed rate is increased, both the disorder and the number of horizontal squares in the silo increase, hindering the Janssen effect. Conversely, for elongated particles the feed rate has a weak effect on the final deposit properties. Indeed, we always observe highly ordered structures of horizontal rods where the stress is transmitted mainly in the vertical direction.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2014
Vol:
89
Pgs:
052212

We use the first Betti number of a complex to analyze the morphological structure of granular samples in mechanical equilibrium. We investigate two-dimensional granular packings after a tapping process by means of both simulations and experiments. States with equal packing fraction obtained with different tapping intensities are distinguished after the introduction of a filtration parameter which determines the particles (nodes in the network) that are joined by an edge. This is accomplished by just using the position of the particles obtained experimentally and no other information about the possible contacts, or magnitude of forces.

Authors:
Arevalo, R.; Pugnaloni, L. A.; Maza, D; et al.
Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2013
Vol:
87
N°:
2
Pp:
022203

We analyze the contact network of simulated two-dimensional granular packings in different states of mechanical equilibrium obtained by tapping. We show that topological descriptors of the contact network allow one to distinguish steady states of the same mean density obtained with different tap intensities. These equal-density states were recently proven to be distinguishable through the mean force moment tensor. In contrast, geometrical descriptors, such as radial distribution functions, bond order parameters, and Voronoi cell distributions, can hardly discriminate among these states. We find that small-order loops of contacts-the polygons of the network-are especially sensitive probes for the contact structure. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.87.022203

Magazine:
EDIFICACION MAGAZINE
ISSN:
0213-8948

Year:
2013
N°:
41 - 42
Pp:
102 - 107

Granular media ¿subject inert media composed of divided solids ¿ when passing through an opening that is only slightly larger than the particle size can clog.
than the particle size can clog. It has been studied how the probability of clogging is reduced by placing an obstacle in front of the outlet.
by placing an obstacle in front of the exit. The obtained result demonstrates that the probability of clogging is reduced
of jamming depending on where the obstacle is placed, being an optimal position where the distance between the obstacle and the exit is similar to the size of the exit.
the exit is similar to the size of the opening. These results can be interesting for the optimal design of an evacuation exit.
evacuation.

Magazine:
GRANULAR MATTER
ISSN:
1434-5021

Year:
2013
Vol:
15
N°:
6
Pp:
841 - 848

In this work, we examine a quasi-2D silo that clogs due to the spontaneous formation of stable arches. We validate a numerical scheme comparing the morphology of clogging arches with previous experimental findings. Additionally, we inspect the forces that act on particles, both on those in the bulk of the silo as well as those belonging to the arches formed above the outlet. In the silo, we have found that normal forces are higher close to the wall, in contrast to the central part of the silo, where normal forces are notably lower. Besides, it is revealed that normal forces on particles belonging to the clogging arches are significantly larger than in their surroundings. In a particle of the arch, the magnitude of the force strongly depends on the angle subtended from its centre to the contact points with its two neighbours in the arch. Indeed, for angles exceeding , the larger the angle, the lower the normal force and the higher the tangential one. On the contrary, for smaller angles the behavior is reversed, so the normal forces increase with the angle. Finally, we present a comparison of the normal and tangential force distributions for the particles within the arch and in the bulk. All this shows the special nature of the forces developed in clogging arches, which suggests that direct extrapolations of bulk properties should not be taken for granted.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2013
Vol:
87
N°:
1
Pp:
012202

In a previous paper [Hidalgo et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 118001 (2009)] it was shown that square particles deposited in a silo tend to align with a diagonal parallel to the gravity, giving rise to a deposit with very particular properties. Here we explore, both experimentally and numerically, the effect on these properties of the filling mechanism. In particular, we modify the volume fraction of the initial configuration from which the grains are deposited. Starting from a very dilute case, increasing the volume fraction results in an enhancement of the disorder in the final deposit characterized by a decrease of the final packing fraction and a reduction of the number of particles oriented with their diagonal in the direction of gravity. However, for very high initial volume fractions, the final packing fraction increases again. This result implies that two deposits with the same final packing fraction can be obtained from very different initial conditions. The structural properties of such deposits are analyzed, revealing that, although the final volume fraction is the same, their micromechanical properties notably differ.

Authors:
Arevalo, R.; Pugnaloni, L. A.; Maza, D; et al.
Magazine:
PHILOSOPHICAL MAGAZINE
ISSN:
1478-6435

Year:
2013
Vol:
93
N°:
31 - 33
Ppgs:
4078 - 4089

We characterize the structure of simulated two-dimensional granular packings using concepts from complex networks theory. The packings are generated by a simulated tapping protocol, which allows us to obtain states in mechanical equilibrium in a wide range of densities. We show that our characterization method is able to discriminate non-equivalent states that have the same density. We do this by examining differences in the topological structure of the contact network of the packings. In particular, we find that the polygons of the network are specially sensitive probes for the contact structure. Additionally, we compare the network properties obtained in two different scenarios: the tapped and a compressed system.

Magazine:
PLOS ONE
ISSN:
1932-6203

Year:
2013
Vol:
8
N°:
8
Pp:
e67838

While ¿vibrational noise¿ induced by rotating components of machinery is a common problem constantly faced by engineers, the controlled conversion of translational into rotational motion or vice-versa is a desirable goal in many scenarios ranging from internal combustion engines to ultrasonic motors. In this work, we describe the underlying physics after isolating a single degree of freedom, focusing on devices that convert a vibration along the vertical axis into a rotation around this axis. A typical Vibrot (as we label these devices) consists of a rigid body with three or more cantilevered elastic legs attached to its bottom at an angle. We show that these legs are capable of transforming vibration into rotation by a ¿ratchet effect¿, which is caused by the anisotropic stick-slip-flight motion of the leg tips against the ground. Drawing an analogy with the Froude number used to classify the locomotion dynamics of legged animals, we discuss the walking regime of these robots. We are able to control the rotation frequency of the Vibrot by manipulating the shaking amplitude, frequency or waveform. Furthermore, we have been able to excite Vibrots with acoustic waves, which allows speculating about the possibility of reducing the size of the devices so they can perform tasks into the human body, excited by ultrasound waves from the outside.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2012
Vol:
109
N°:
6

We present experimental and numerical results regarding the stability of arches against external vibrations. Two-dimensional strings of mutually stabilizing grains are geometrically analyzed and subsequently submitted to a periodic forcing at fixed frequency and increasing amplitude. The main factor that determines the granular arch resistance against vibrations is the maximum angle among those formed between any particle of the arch and its two neighbours: the higher the maximum angle is, the easier it is to break the arch. On the basis of an analysis of the forces, a simple explanation is given for this dependence. From this, interesting information can be extracted about the expected magnitudes of normal forces and friction coefficients of the particles composing the arches.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2012
Vol:
86
N°:
3
Pp:
031306

In a recent paper [Zuriguel et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 278001 (2011)] it has been shown that the presence of an obstacle above the outlet can significantly reduce the clogging probability of granular matter pouring from a silo. The amount of this reduction strongly depends on the obstacle position. In this work, we present new measurements to analyze different outlet sizes, extending foregoing results and revealing that the effect of the obstacle is enhanced as the outlet size is increased. In addition, the effect of the obstacle position on the flow rate properties and in the geometrical features of arches is studied. These results reinforce previous evidence of the pressure reduction induced by the obstacle. In addition, it is shown how the mean avalanche size and the average flow rate are not necessarily linked. On the other hand, a close relationship is suggested between the mean avalanche size and the flow rate fluctuations.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2012
Vol:
108
N°:
24
Pp:
248001

"Beverloo's law" is considered as the standard expression to estimate the flow rate of particles through apertures. This relation was obtained by simple dimensional analysis and includes empirical parameters whose physical meaning is poorly justified. In this Letter, we study the density and velocity profiles in the flow of particles through an aperture. We find that, for the whole range of apertures studied, both profiles are self-similar. Hence, by means of the functionality obtained for them the mass flow rate is calculated. The comparison of this expression with the Beverloo's one reveals some differences which are crucial to understanding the mechanism that governs the flow of particles through orifices.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2011
Vol:
84
N°:
3
Pp:
1 - 8

We present experimental data corresponding to a two-dimensional dense granular flow, namely, the gravity-driven discharge of grains from a small opening in a silo. We study the local velocity field at the scale of single grains at different places with the help of particle-tracking techniques. From these data, the velocity profiles can be obtained and the validity of some long-standing approaches can be assessed. Moreover, the fluctuations of the velocities are taken into consideration to characterize the features of the advective motion (due to the gravity force) and the diffusive motion, which shows nontrivial behavior.

Magazine:
PAPERS IN PHYSICS
ISSN:
1852-4249

Year:
2011
Vol:
3
N°:
0
Pp:
030004

We prepare static granular beds under gravity in different stationary states by tapping the system with pulsed excitations of controlled amplitude and duration. The macroscopic state---defined by the ensemble of static configurations explored by the system tap after tap---for a given tap intensity and duration is studied in terms of volume, V, and force moment tensor, \Sigma. In a previous paper [Pugnaloni et al., Phys. Rev. E 82, 050301(R) (2010)], we reported evidence supporting that such macroscopic states cannot be fully described by using only V or \Sigma, apart from the number of particles N. In this work, we present an analysis of the fluctuations of these variables that indicates that V and \Sigma may be sufficient to define the macroscopic states. Moreover, we show that only one of the invariants of \Sigma is necessary, since each component of \Sigma falls onto a master curve when plotted as a function of \rm{Tr}(\Sigma). This implies that these granular assemblies have a common shape for the stress tensor, even though it does not correspond to the hydrostatic type. Although most results are obtained by molecular dynamics simulations, we present supporting experimental results.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
ISSN:
0031-9007

Year:
2011
Vol:
107
N°:
27
Pp:
278001

Magazine:
EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL E
ISSN:
1292-8941

Year:
2011
Vol:
34
N°:
12
Pp:
133

We present experimental and numerical results of the effect that a partial discharge has on the morphological and micro-mechanical properties of non-spherical, convex particles in a silo. The comparison of the particle orientation after filling the silo and its subsequent partial discharge reveals important shear-induced orientation, which affects stress propagation. For elongated particles, the flow induces an increase in the packing disorder which leads to a reduction of the vertical stress propagation developed during the deposit generated prior to the partial discharge. For square particles, the flow favors particle alignment with the lateral walls promoting a behavior opposite to the one of the elongated particles: vertical force transmission, parallel to gravity, is induced. Hence, for elongated particles the flow developed during the partial discharge of the silo leads to force saturation with depth whereas for squares the flow induces hindering of the force saturation observed during the silo filling.

Magazine:
JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT
ISSN:
1742-5468

We report experimental and theoretical results of the effect that particle shape has on the packing properties of granular materials. We have systematically measured the particle angular distribution, the cluster size distribution and the stress profiles of ensembles of faceted elongated particles deposited in a two-dimensional box. Stress transmission through this granular system has been numerically simulated using a two-dimensional model of irregular particles. For grains of maximum symmetry (squares), the stress propagation localizes and forms chain-like forces analogous to those observed for granular materials composed of spheres. For thick layers of grains, a pressure saturation is observed for deposit depths beyond a characteristic length. This scenario correlates with packing morphology and can be understood in terms of stochastic models of aggregation and random multiplicative processes. As grains elongate and lose their symmetry, stress propagation is strongly affected. Lateral force transmission becomes less favoured than vertical transfer, and hence, an increase in the pressure develops with depth, hindering force saturation.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2010
Vol:
82
N°:
3
Pp:
31306

We present experimental results on the shape of arches that block the outlet of a two-dimensional silo. For a range of outlet sizes, we measure some properties of the arches such as the number of particles involved, the span, the aspect ratio, and the angles between mutually stabilizing particles. These measurements shed light on the role of frictional tangential forces in arching. In addition, we find that arches tend to adopt an aspect ratio (the quotient between height and half the span) close to 1, suggesting an isotropic load. The comparison of the experimental results with data from numerical models of the arches formed in the bulk of a granular column reveals the similarities of both, as well as some limitations in the few existing models.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2010
Vol:
81
N°:
6
Pp:
062301

We present an experimental study of the displacement of a light intruder immersed in a vibrated granular bed. Using high speed video we resolve the motion, during one cycle of oscillation, of a cylindrical object inside a Plexiglas box partially filled with grains. We report experimental evidence that, in the absence of convection, at least two forces are behind the intruder's motion: an air drag force-due to the airflow through the granular bed-and a buoyancy force produced by an air-mediated granular fluid.

Magazine:
International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
ISSN:
0218-1274

Year:
2010
Vol:
20
N°:
3
Pp:
897 - 903

The existence of small order loops of contacts is presented as an intrinsic characteristic of force granular networks. Based on molecular dynamics simulations, it is proposed that the presence of these small order loops - and in particular third order loops of contacts - is important to understand the transition from fluid-like to solid-like behavior of granular packings. In addition, we show a close relationship between the development of third order loops and the small forces of the granular packing in the sense that almost all third order loops allocate a force component smaller than the average.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2010
Vol:
81
N°:
4
Pp:
41302

The jamming transition of an isotropically compressed granular packing is studied by means of molecular dynamics simulations. The system is shown to undergo a critical transition which is analyzed by looking at the topological structure of the force network. At the critical packing fraction there is a sudden growth of the number of polygons in the network. Above the critical packing fraction the number of triangles keeps growing while the number of the rest of polygons is weakly reduced. Then, we prove that in the jammed regime, there is a linear relationship between the number of triangles and the coordination number. Furthermore, the presence of these minimal structures is revealed to be connected with the evolution of some important topological properties, suggesting its importance to understand the physical properties of the packing and the onset of rigidity during the compression.

Authors:
Pugnaloni, Luis A.; Sánchez, Iván; Gago, Paula A.; et al.

Magazine:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
ISSN:
1539-3755

Year:
2010
Vol:
82
N°:
5
Pp:
050301

We analyze, experimentally and numerically, the steady states, obtained by tapping, of a two-dimensional granular layer. Contrary to the usual assumption, we show that the reversible (steady state branch) of the density-acceleration curve is non-monotonous. Accordingly, steady states with the same mean volume can be reached by tapping the system with very different intensities. Simulations of dissipative frictional disks show that equal volume steady states have different values of the force moment tensor. Additionally, we find that steady states of equal stress can be obtained by changing the duration of the taps; however, these states present distinct mean volumes. These results confirm previous speculations that the volume and the force moment tensor are both needed to describe univocally equilibrium states in static granular assemblies.