Symmetry-breaking instability in a prototypical driven granular gas

Evgeniy Khain, Baruch Meerson

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28 Scopus citations


Symmetry-breaking instability of a laterally uniform granular cluster (strip state) in a prototypical driven granular gas is investigated. The system consists of smooth hard disks in a two-dimensional box, colliding inelastically with each other and driven, at zero gravity, by a “thermal” wall. The limit of nearly elastic particle collisions is considered, and granular hydrodynamics with the Jenkins-Richman constitutive relations is employed. The hydrodynamic problem is completely described by two scaled parameters and the aspect ratio of the box. Marginal stability analysis predicts a spontaneous symmetry-breaking instability of the strip state, similar to that predicted recently for a different set of constitutive relations. If the system is big enough, the marginal stability curve becomes independent of the details of the boundary condition at the driving wall. In this regime, the density perturbation is exponentially localized at the elastic wall opposite the thermal wall. The short- and long-wavelength asymptotics of the marginal stability curves are obtained analytically in the dilute limit. The physics of the symmetry-breaking instability is discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 28 Aug 2002


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