Spontaneous ratchet effect in a granular gas

Roger M. van der Meer, Peter Reimann, J.P. van der Weele, Detlef Lohse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
134 Downloads (Pure)


The spontaneous clustering of a vibrofluidized granular gas is employed to generate directed transport in two different compartmentalized systems: a granular fountain in which the transport takes the form of convection rolls, and a granular ratchet with a spontaneous particle current perpendicular to the direction of energy input. In both instances, transport is not due to any systemintrinsic anisotropy, but arises as a spontaneous collective symmetry breaking effect of many interacting granular particles. The experimental and numerical results are quantitatively accounted for within a flux model.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)184301-1-184301-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • METIS-221012
  • IR-49048

Cite this