Ordering in granular-rod monolayers driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium

T. Müller, D. de las Heras, I. Rehberg, and K. Huang
Phys. Rev. E, 91, 062207, (2015)     DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.91.062207
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The orientational order in vertically agitated granular-rod monolayers is investigated experimentally and compared quantitatively with equilibrium Monte Carlo simulations and density functional theory. At sufficiently high number density, short rods form a tetratic state and long rods form a uniaxial nematic state. The length-to-width ratio at which the order changes from tetratic to uniaxial is around 7.3 in both experiments and simulations. This agreement illustrates the universal aspects of the ordering of rod-shaped particles across equilibrium and nonequilibrium systems. Moreover, the assembly of granular rods into ordered states is found to be independent of the agitation frequency and strength, suggesting that the detailed nature of energy injection into such a nonequilibrium system does not play a crucial role.

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