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The particulars of particulates

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Amélie Lamarquette.

A granular material forms a distinct and fascinating phase in physics—sand acts as a fluid as grains flow through your fingers, the fallen grains form a solid heap on the floor or may suspend in the wind like a gas.

The main challenge of studying granular materials is the development of constitutive models valid across scales, from the micro-scale (collisions between individual particles), via the meso-scale (flow structures inside avalanches) to the macro-scale (dunes, heaps, chute flows).

In this talk, I am highlighting three recent projects from my laboratory, each highlighting physical behavior at a different scale. First, using the property of birefringence, we are quantifying both kinetic and dynamic properties in an avalanche of macroscopic particles and measure rheological properties. Secondly, we explore avalanches on an erodible bed that display an intriguing dynamic intermittency between regimes. Lastly, we take a closer look at aqueous (water-driven) dunes in a novel rotating experiment and resolve an outstanding scaling controversy between migration velocity and dune dimension.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (CUED) series.

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