Alex Gilman

Year: Junior

Major(s):  Physics (Theoretical), Mathematics

Mentor: Bougie, Jon

Department: Physics

Project Title: Shocks and Patterns in Vertically Shaken Granular Systems

Project Abstract: Granular systems, such as a beach full of sand, a box of marbles, or a collection of rocks on the side of a hill, exhibit interesting fluid-like properties. We can approximate the behavior of a granular media as similar to a fluid system, which is also made up of an aggregate of particles. The Navier-Stokes equations are used to model the behavior of fluid systems. This project investigates vertically shaken granular systems using numerical solutions of continuum equations to Navier-Stokes order. When oscillated, the shocks created by the grains impact with the oscillator create patterns in the medium. Past research has shown that empirically chosen scale factors relate various properties related to shocks and pattern creation within a granular system. I will continue to run simulations of granular systems, and develop a physical experiment of shaken granular media. I will also further explore the theory behind the empirical scale factors.