|Substances known as "granular media" include anything that is made up of many distinct grains -- including common materials as diverse as sand, rice, ball bearings, and flour. Bulk quantities of these materials display behavior which is unlike that of either solids or liquids. Unlike solids, granular media conform to the shape of a container and will flow if the container is tilted sufficiently. Unlike liquids, however, a granular material is stable when its container is tilted slightly. The properties of these materials are of immense importance to a variety of industries, and recently their behavior has come under intense study by academic researchers in the physics community including our group at the University of Notre Dame|
NOTE: The experimental component of this research program has largely moved to the Physics Department at Pennsylvania State University.
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Updated on July 26, 2000