We report on a newly discovered bifurcation that occurs in dry grains flowing down a chute with a wavy bottom. We find that the bifurcation outwardly resembles the long-known fluid analogue of inviscid channel flow over a wavy bottom reported in 1886 by Lord Kelvin; however, in detail, the two situations differ significantly. We compare three distinct states seen in the granular system: a 'regular' flow in phase with the bottom wave; an 'antiregular' flow that is out of phase; and a 'flat' flow in which the surface slides nearly uniformly downhill. Additionally, we discuss evidence that sustained subsurface circulation in the granular bed, accompanied by strong fluctuations in flow velocities, can appear in granular flows over wavy surfaces.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering