The effect of noise on the solid-to-liquid transition of a dense granular assembly under planar shear is studied numerically using soft-particle molecular dynamics simulations in two dimensions. We focus on small systems in a thin planar Couette cell, examining the bistable region while increasing shear, with varying amounts of random noise, and determine statistics of the shear required for fluidization. In the absence of noise, the threshold value of the shear stress depends on the preparation of the system and has a broad distribution. However, adding force fluctuations both lowers the mean threshold value of the shear stress and decreases its variability. This behavior is interpreted as thermoactivated escape through a fluctuating barrier.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Oct 15 2009|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics