Intruder dynamics in a frictional granular fluid: A molecular dynamics study

Prasenjit Das, Sanjay Puri, Moshe Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the dynamics of an intruder moving through a fluidized granular medium in three dimensions (d=3). The intruder and grains have both translational and rotational degrees of freedom. The energy-dissipation mechanism is solid friction between all pairs of particles. We keep the granular system fluidized even at rather high densities by randomly perturbing the linear and angular velocities of the grains. We apply a constant external force of magnitude F to the intruder and obtain its steady-state velocity Vs in the center-of-mass frame of the grains. The F-Vs relation is of great interest in the industrial processing of granular matter and has been the subject of most experiments on this problem. We also obtain the mobility, which is proportional to the inverse viscosity, as a function of the volume fraction φ. This is shown to diverge at the jamming volume fraction. For φ below the jamming fraction, we find that Vs∼F for small F and Vs∼F1/2 for large F. The intruder shows diffusive motion in the plane perpendicular to the direction of the external force.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042905
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2020


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