Periodic, aperiodic, and transient patterns in vibrated granular layers

Paul B. Umbanhowar, Francisco Melo, Harry L. Swinney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Experiments on vertically vibrated granular layers in evacuated containers reveal a variety of patterns for acceleration amplitudes above a critical value (≈2.5g). Stripes, squares, hexagons, spirals, triangles, and targets, as well as particle-like localized excitations ("oscillons") and fronts ("kinks") between regions with different vibrational phase are observed as the layer depth and the container oscillation frequency and amplitude are varied. A zig-zag instability, unstable hexagons, phase-disordered patterns, and "two-phase" squares are also observed. With a few noteworthy exceptions, the patterns are essentially independent of the lateral boundary conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jan 2 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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