Forces encountered by a sphere during impact into sand

Sylvain Joubaud, Tess Homan, Y. Gasteuil, Detlef Lohse, Devaraj van der Meer

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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We describe direct measurements of the acceleration of an object impacting on a loosely packed granular bed under various pressures, using an instrumented sphere. The sphere acts as a noninvasive probe that measures and continuously transmits the acceleration as it penetrates into the sand, using a radio signal. The time-resolved acceleration of the sphere reveals the detailed dynamics during the impact that cannot be resolved from the position information alone. Because of the unobstructed penetration, we see a downward acceleration of the sphere at the moment the air cavity collapses. The compressibility of the sand bed is observed through the oscillatory behavior of the acceleration curve for various ambient pressures; it shows the influence of interstitial air on the compaction of the sand as a function of time.
Original languageEnglish
Article number060201
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number060201
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-307107
  • IR-95008


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