Shell structures with “magic numbers” of spheres in a swirled dish

Karsten Kötter, Eric Goles, and Mario Markus
Phys. Rev. E 60, 7182 – Published 1 December 1999
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Abstract

Molecular dynamic simulations of a low number N<~54 of spheres in a swirled dish yield solidlike shell structures with stable rings. In contrast to known granular media, solidification occurs only at singular values of N: 7, 8, 12, 14, 19, 21, 30, 37, 40. Otherwise, we obtain intermittent switching of particles between rings — the average switching time scaling exponentially with a control parameter — or fluidlike disorder. Stable shell structures can be classified by particular geometrical arrangements (one-centered hexagonal, one-centered “quasicircular,” three centered, and four centered).

  • Received 16 November 1998

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.60.7182

©1999 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Karsten Kötter*

  • Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Physiologie, Postfach 500247, 44202 Dortmund, Germany

Eric Goles

  • Departamento de Ingeniería Matemática, FCFM, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 170–3, Santiago, Chile

Mario Markus

  • Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Physiologie, Postfach 500247, 44202 Dortmund, Germany

  • *Electronic address: koetter@mpi-dortmund.mpg.de
  • Electronic address: egoles@dim.uchile.cl
  • Electronic address: markus@mpi-dortmund.mpg.de

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Vol. 60, Iss. 6 — December 1999

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