An experimental investigation of the force network ensemble
Department of Physics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA
* e-mail: email@example.com
Published online: 30 June 2017
We present an experiment in which a horizontal quasi-2D granular system with a fixed neighbor network is cyclically compressed and decompressed over 1000 cycles. We remove basal friction by floating the particles on a thin air cushion, so that particles only interact in-plane. As expected for a granular system, the applied load is not distributed uniformly, but is instead concentrated in force chains which form a network throughout the system. To visualize the structure of these networks, we use particles made from photoelastic material. The experimental setup and a new data-processing pipeline allow us to map out the evolution subject to the cyclic compressions. We characterize several statistical properties of the packing, including the probability density function of the contact force, and compare them with theoretical and numerical predictions from the force network ensemble theory.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.