Nonequilibrium two-phase coexistence in a confined granular layer
|Title||Nonequilibrium two-phase coexistence in a confined granular layer|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2004|
|Authors||Prevost, A., Melby P., Egolf D. A., and Urbach J. S.|
|Journal||Physical Review E|
We report the observation of the homogenous nucleation of crystals in a dense layer of steel spheres confined between two horizontal plates vibrated vertically. Above a critical vibration amplitude, two-layer crystals with square symmetry were found to coexist in steady state with a surrounding granular liquid. By analogy to equilibrium hard-sphere systems, the phase behavior may be explained through entropy maximization. However, dramatic nonequilibrium effects are present, including a significant difference in the granular temperatures of the two phases.