## Abram Clark : Yielding in granular materials, from riverbeds to renormalization group

- Nonlinear and Complex Systems ( 217 Views )Granular materials are a part of a broad class of amorphous materials that display yield stress behavior. When the applied shear stress is below the yield stress, grains move temporarily, but only until finding a mechanically stable (MS) configuration that is able to resist the applied shear stress. Above the yield stress, the material is no longer able to find MS configurations. However, the geometrical reasons why MS states vanish at the yield stress is not well understood. In this talk, I will show evidence from molecular dynamics simulations that yielding in granular materials is akin to a second-order critical point, where the mechanical behavior is dominated by a correlation length that diverges at the yield stress. MS states exist above the yield stress for finite systems, but they vanish as the system size becomes large according to a critical scaling function. The packing fraction and coordination number for MS states are independent of the applied shear stress, implying that the critical behavior we observe is distinct from the well known jamming scenario. However, MS states at nonzero shear stress possess anisotropic force and contact networks, suggesting that the yield stress is set by the maximum anisotropy that can be realized in the large-system limit.

## Kyoung Jin Lee : A scary, yet interesting, scenario to the fibrillating heart

- Nonlinear and Complex Systems ( 213 Views )Alternans, a beat-to-beat temporal alternation in the sequence of heart beats, is a known precursor of the development of cardiac fibrillation, leading to sudden cardiac death. The equally important precursor of cardiac arrhythmias is the rotating spiral wave of electro-mechanical activity, or reentry, on the heart tissue. In this talk, I will show that these two seemingly different phenomena can have a remarkable relationship: In well controlled in-vitro tissue cultures, isotropic populations of rat ventricular myocytes sustaining a temporal rhythm of alternans can support period-2 oscillatory re-entries, and vice versa. These re-entries bear `line defects' across which the phase of local excitation slips rather abruptly by $2\pi$, when a full period-2 cycle of alternans completes in $4\pi$. In other words, the cells belonging to the line defects are period-1 oscillatory whereas all the others in the bulk medium are period-2 oscillatory. We also find that a slowly rotating line defect results in a quasi-periodic like oscillation in the bulk medium. Some key features of these phenomena can be well reproduced in computer simulations of a nonlinear reaction-diffusion model.

## Frederic Lechenault : Experimental investigation of equilibration properties in model granular subsystems

- Nonlinear and Complex Systems ( 181 Views )We experimentally investigate the statistical features of the stationary states reached by two idealized granular liquids able to exchange volume. The system consists in two binary mixtures of the same number of soft disks, hence covering the same area, but with different surface properties. The disks sit on a horizontal air table, which provides ultra low friction at the cell bottom, and are separated by a mobile wall. Energy is injected in the system by means of an array of randomly activated coil bumpers standing as the edges of the cell. Due to the energy injection, the system acts like a slow liquid and eventually jams at higher packing fraction. We characterize the macroscopic states by studying the motion of the piston. We find that its average position is different from one half, and a non monotonic function of the overall packing fraction, which reveals the crucial role played by the surface properties in the corresponding density of states. We then study the bulk statistics of the packing fraction and the dynamics in each subsystem. We find that the measured quantities do not equilibrate, and become dramatically different as the overall packing fraction is increased beyond the onset of supercooling. However, the local fluctuations of the packing fraction are uniquely determined by its average, and hence independent of the interaction between disks. We then focus on the mixing properties of such an assembly. We characterize mixing by computing the topological entropy of the braids formed by the stationary trajectories of the grains at each pressure. This quantity is shown to be well defined, very sensitive to onset of supercooling, reflecting the dynamical arrest of the assembly, and to equilibrate in the two subsystems. Joint work with Karen Daniels.

## Holger Stark : Active motion: Understanding the nonequilibrium

- Nonlinear and Complex Systems ( 168 Views )Active motion of microorganisms or artificial microswimmers in a fluid at low Reynolds number is an appealing subject which has attracted much attention recently. Since these swimmers move constantly in nonequilibrium, they give rise to novel phenomena which, in particular, occur when external fields are applied or when they move collectively.

The talk reviews three situations where active motion manifests itself. First, a swimmer under Poiseuille flow shows nonlinear dynamics reminiscent of the nonlinear pendulum. Bounding walls introduce "dissipation" [1] and an elliptical crosssection of the microchannel leads to chaotic motion. Secondly, I discuss the collective motion of model swimmers, so-called squirmers, in a quasi 2D geometry by means of multi-particle collision dynamics. This is a particle based method to solve the Navier-Stokes equations and helps to elucidate the role of hydrodynamics in collective phenomena. Indeed, we find gas-like and cluster phases as well as phase separation which is strongly influenced by hydrodynamic near-field interactions and the swimmer type. Thirdly, I discuss dynamic clustering of active or self-propelling colloids that interact by diffusiophoresis reminiscent of chemotaxis in bacterial systems.

[1] A. Zoettl and H. Stark, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 218104 (2012).

## Patrick Charbonneau : Glass transition and random close packing in 3+ dimensions

- Nonlinear and Complex Systems ( 162 Views )Motivated by a recently identified severe discrepancy between a static and a dynamic theory of glasses, we numerically investigate the behavior of dense hard spheres in spatial dimensions 3 to 12. Our results are consistent with the static replica theory, but disagree with the dynamic mode- coupling theory, indicating that key ingredients of high-dimensional physics are missing from the latter. We also obtain numerical estimates of the random close packing density, which provides new insights into the mathematical problem of packing spheres in large dimension.

## Brian Utter : Jamming in Vibrated Granular Systems

- Nonlinear and Complex Systems ( 129 Views )Granular materials exist all around us, from avalanches in nature to the mixing of pharmaceuticals, yet the behavior of these ``fluids'' is poorly understood. Their flow can be characterized by the continuous forming and breaking of a strong force network resisting flow. This jamming/unjamming behavior is typical of a variety of systems, including granular flows, and is influenced by factors such as grain packing fraction, applied shear stress, and the random kinetic energy of the particles. I'll present experiments on quasi-static shear and free-surface granular flows under the influence of external vibrations. By using photoelastic grains, we are able to measure both particle trajectories and the local force network in these 2D flows. We find through particle tracking that dense granular flow is composed of comparable contributions from the mean flow, affine, and non-affine deformations. During shear, sufficient external vibration weakens the strong force network and reduces the amount of flow driven by sidewalls. In a rotating drum geometry, large vibrations induce failure as might be expected, while small vibration leads to strengthening of the pile. The avalanching behavior is also strongly history dependent, as evident when the rotating drum is driven in an oscillatory motion, and we find that sufficient vibration erases the memory of the pile. These results point to the central role of the mobilization of friction in quasi-static granular flow.