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Patterned segregation: Order out of complexity

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  • UserTom Mullin, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, U.K.
  • ClockMonday 13 August 2007, 14:45-15:30
  • HouseLaw Faculty, Cambridge.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Nick Watkins.

Segregation in mixtures of granular materials is a topic which is of interest to a broad range of scientists from physicists, to geologists and engineers. The phenomenon involves the spontaneous de-mixing of an initially mixed state into its constituent components under the action of flow. We will discuss these issues and present the results of experimental investigations into particle segregation in a binary mixture which is subject to horizontal forcing. The initially mixed state undergoes a surprising self–organization process such that the two constituent components separate to form patterned structures. The pattern formation process shows critical dependence on the concentration ratio of the mixture and this seems to be in accord with notions of phase transitions. Moreover, changing the particle shape has a dramatic effect on the order of the transition.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey's Natural Complexity: Data and Theory in Dialogue series.

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