A Granular Ratchet: Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking and Fluctuation Theorems in a Granular Gas

  • van der Meer, D. (Speaker)
  • Sylvain Joubaud (Contributor)
  • Peter Eshuis (Contributor)
  • Ko van der Weele (Contributor)
  • Lohse, D. (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


We construct a ratchet of the Smoluchowski-Feynman type, consisting of four vanes that are allowed to rotate freely in a vibrofluidized granular gas. The necessary out-of-equilibrium environment is provided by the inelastically colliding grains, and the equally crucial symmetry breaking by applying a soft coating to one side of each vane. The onset of the ratchet effect occurs at a critical shaking strength via a smooth, continuous phase transition. For very strong shaking the vanes interact actively with the gas and a convection roll develops, sustaining the rotation of the vanes. From the experimental results we show that a steady state fluctuation relation holds for the work injected to the system, and that its entropy production satisfies a detailed fluctuation theorem. Surprisingly, we find that the above relations are satisfied to some extent even when a convection roll has developed and there exists a strong coupling between the motion of the vanes and the granular gas.
Period4 Apr 2014
Event titleDPG Frühjahrstagung 2014 Dresden: (DPG Spring Meeting)
Event typeConference
OrganiserDeutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
LocationDresden, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational