From pharmaceutical to mining or travelling desert dunes to earthquakes, granular materials are at the heart of many industries and natural phenomena. Improving the efficiency of the machines, handling them or, constructing safer buildings requires a critical understanding of their behavior. However, this is not a straightforward task as opposed to what one might think due to the abundance of particulate matter. From a fundamental point of view, it has been only recently realized that they cannot be easily classified as a solid or liquid or even a gas as they are able to mimic all of these states under slightly different conditions. The challenge of the scientific research today, is to establish the link between the collective behavior and properties of individual particles composing granular materials. Such a relation would enable to characterize them with only a few parameters in contrast to billions of particles typically found in practice.
|Award date||2 Jul 2012|
|Place of Publication||Delft|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Jul 2012|