Journey of an intruder through the fluidization and jamming transitions of a dense granular media

R. Candelier , O. Dauchot

Bibtex , URL
Physical Review E, 81, 1, 1
Published 21 Jan. 2010
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.81.011304
ISSN: 1539-3755


We study experimentally the motion of an intruder dragged into an amorphous monolayer of horizontally vibrated grains at high packing fractions. This motion exhibits two transitions. The first transition separates a continuous motion regime at comparatively low packing fractions and large dragging force from an intermittent motion one at high packing fraction and low dragging force. Associated to these different motions, we observe a transition from a linear rheology to a stiffer response. We thereby call ``fluidization{''} this first transition. A second transition is observed within the intermittent regime when the intruder's motion is made of intermittent bursts separated by long waiting times. We observe a peak in the relative fluctuations of the intruder's displacements and a critical scaling of the burst amplitudes' distributions. This transition occurs at the jamming point Phi(J) defined as the point where the static pressure (i.e., the pressure measured in the absence of vibration) vanishes. Investigating the motion of the surrounding grains, we show that below the fluidization transition, there is a permanent wake of free volume behind the intruder. This transition is marked by the evolution of the reorganization patterns around the intruder, which evolve from compact aggregates in the flowing regime to long-range branched shapes in the intermittent regime, suggesting an increasing role of the stress fluctuations. Remarkably, the distributions of the kinetic energy of these reorganization patterns also exhibit a critical scaling at the jamming transition.