Experimental Realization of a Rotational Ratchet in a Granular Gas

Peter Eshuis, Ko van der Weele, Detlef Lohse, Devaraj van der Meer

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63 Citations (Scopus)
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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
Original languageEnglish
Article number248001
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • METIS-266890
  • IR-79181


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