Physics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics

Clustering kinetics of granular media in three dimensions

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Three-dimensional molecular dynamics simulations of dissipative particles (~ 106) are carried out for studying the clustering kinetics of granular media during cooling. The inter-connected high particle density regions are identified, showing tube-like structures. The energy decay rates as functions of the particle density and the restitution coefficient are obtained. It is found that the probability density function of the particle density obeys an exponential distribution at late stages. Both the fluctuation of density and the mean cluster size of the particle density have power law relations against time during the inelastic coalescing process. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.