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The Influence of Network Topology on Sound Propagation in Granular Materials

By Danielle S. Bassett, Eli T. Owens, Karen E. Daniels and Mason A. Porter


Granular materials, whose features range from the particle scale to the force-chain scale to the bulk scale, are usually modeled as either particulate or continuum materials. In contrast with either of these approaches, network representations are natural for the simultaneous examination of microscopic, mesoscopic, and macroscopic features. In this paper, we treat granular materials as spatially-embedded networks in which the nodes (particles) are connected by weighted edges obtained from contact forces. We test a variety of network measures for their utility in helping to describe sound propagation in granular networks and find that network diagnostics can be used to probe particle-, curve-, domain-, and system-scale structures in granular media. In particular, diagnostics of meso-scale network structure are reproducible across experiments, are correlated with sound propagation in this medium, and can be used to identify potentially interesting size scales. We also demonstrate that the sensitivity of network diagnostics depends on the phase of sound propagation. In the injection phase, the signal propagates systemically, as indicated by correlations with the network diagnostic of global efficiency. In the scattering phase, however, the signal is better predicted by meso-scale community structure, suggesting that the acoustic signal scatters over local geographic neighborhoods. Collectively, our results demonstrate how the force network of a granular system is imprinted on transmitted waves.Comment: 19 pages, 9 figures, and 3 table

Topics: Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter, Mathematical Physics, Nonlinear Sciences - Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems, Physics - Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability
Publisher: 'American Physical Society (APS)'
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevE.86.041306
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