New Insight into Pseudo-Thermal Convection in Vibrofluidised Granular Systems

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Utilising a combination of experimental results obtained via positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) and numerical simulations, we study the influence of a system’s geometric and elastic properties on the convective behaviours of a dilute, vibrofluidised granular assembly. Through the use of a novel, ‘modular’ system geometry, we demonstrate the existence of several previously undocumented convection-inducing mechanisms and compare their relative strengths across a broad, multi-dimensional parameter space, providing criteria through which the dominant mechanism within a given system – and hence its expected dynamics – may be predicted. We demonstrate a range of manners through which the manipulation of a system’s geometry, material properties and imposed motion may be exploited in order to induce, suppress, strengthen, weaken or even invert granular convection. The sum of our results demonstrates that boundary-layer effects due to wall (in)elasticity or directional impulses due to ‘rough’ boundaries exert only a secondary influence on the system’s behaviour. Rather, the direction and strength of convective motion is predominantly determined by the energy flux in the vicinity of the system’s lateral boundaries, demonstrating unequivocally that pseudo-thermal granular convection is decidedly a collective phenomenon.


Original languageEnglish
Article number12859
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas