Building Blocks of Dynamical Heterogeneities in Dense Granular Media

R. Candelier , O. Dauchot , G. Biroli

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Physical Review Letters, 102, 8
Published 27 Feb. 2009
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.088001
ISSN: 0031-9007


We investigate experimentally the connection between short time dynamics and long time dynamical heterogeneities within a dense granular media under cyclic shear. We show that dynamical heterogeneities result from a two time scales process. Short time but already collective events consisting in clustered cage jumps concentrate most of the nonaffine displacements. On larger time scales, such clusters appear aggregated both temporally and spatially in avalanches which eventually build the large scales dynamical heterogeneities. Our results indicate that facilitation plays an important role in the relaxation process although it does not appear to be conserved as proposed in many models studied in the literature.