Persisting roughness when deposition stops

Moshe Schwartz, S. F. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Useful theories for growth of surfaces under random deposition of material have been developed by several authors. The simplest theory is that introduced by Edwards and Wilkinson (EW), which is linear and soluble. Its nonlinear generalization by Kardar, Parisi, and Zhang (KPZ) resulted in many subsequent studies. Yet both EW and KPZ theories contain an unphysical feature. When deposition of material is stopped, both theories predict that as time tends to infinity, the surface becomes flat. In fact, of course, the final surface is not flat, but simply has no gradients larger than the gradient related to the angle of repose. We modify the EW and KPZ theories to accommodate this feature and study the consequences for the simpler system which is a modification of the EW equation. In spite of the fact that the equation describing the evolution of the surface is not linear, we find that the steady state in the presence of noise is not very different in the long-wavelength limit from that of the linear EW equation. The situation is quite different from that of EW when deposition stops. Initially there is still some rearrangement of the surface, but that stops as everywhere on the surface the gradient is less than that related to the angle of repose. The most interesting feature observed after deposition stops is the emergence of history-dependent steady-state distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061602
Pages (from-to)061602-1-061602-4
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


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