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Influence of gravity on a granular Maxwell's demon experiment

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Maaß,  Corinna C.
Group Active soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Isert, N., Maaß, C. C., & Aegerter, C. M. (2009). Influence of gravity on a granular Maxwell's demon experiment. The European Physical Journal E: Soft Matter and Biological Physics, 28(2), 205-210. doi:10.1140/epje/i2008-10403-7.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-B466-1
Abstract
In the usual description of the granular Maxwell’s demon experiment, where phase separation occurs due to an instability in the densities, the control parameter scales linearly with gravity. In this paper we investigate this scaling experimentally using the properties of diamagnetic particles in strong magnetic-field gradients to reduce and even balance gravitation. We find that phase separation occurs even at vanishingly small gravitational accelerations as is predicted by other theories. This is due to the fact that granular samples tend to form clusters as a result of the inelasticity of the particle collisions. Combining the heat balance of the driven granular gas with the cooling rate and thus the appearance of clustering, we are able to describe the crossover between the limiting cases.