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The second and third Sonine coefficients of a freely cooling granular gas revisited

By Andres Santos and Jose M. Montanero


In its simplest statistical-mechanical description, a granular fluid can be modeled as composed of smooth inelastic hard spheres (with a constant coefficient of normal restitution $\alpha$) whose velocity distribution function obeys the Enskog-Boltzmann equation. The basic state of a granular fluid is the homogeneous cooling state, characterized by a homogeneous, isotropic, and stationary distribution of scaled velocities, $F(\mathbf{c})$. The behavior of $F(\mathbf{c})$ in the domain of thermal velocities ($c\sim 1$) can be characterized by the two first non-trivial coefficients ($a_2$ and $a_3$) of an expansion in Sonine polynomials. The main goals of this paper are to review some of the previous efforts made to estimate (and measure in computer simulations) the $\alpha$-dependence of $a_2$ and $a_3$, to report new computer simulations results of $a_2$ and $a_3$ for two-dimensional systems, and to investigate the possibility of proposing theoretical estimates of $a_2$ and $a_3$ with an optimal compromise between simplicity and accuracy.Comment: 12 pages, 5 figures; v2: minor change

Topics: Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter, Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
Publisher: 'Springer Science and Business Media LLC'
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s10035-009-0132-8
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