Dynamical Collective Memory in Fluidized Granular Materials

A Plati and A Baldassarri and A Gnoli and G Gradenigo and A Puglisi, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 123, 038002 (2019).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.038002

Recent experiments with rotational diffusion of a probe in a vibrated granular media revealed a rich scenario, ranging from a dilute gas to a dense liquid with cage effects and an unexpected superdiffusive behavior at large times. Here we set up a simulation that reproduces quantitatively the experimental observations and allows us to investigate the properties of the host granular medium, a task not feasible in the experiment. We discover a persistent collective rotational mode which emerges at a high density and a low granular temperature: a macroscopic fraction of the medium slowly rotates, randomly switching direction after very long times. Such a rotational mode of the host medium is the origin of the probe's superdiffusion. Collective motion is accompanied by a kind of dynamical heterogeneity at intermediate times (in the cage stage) followed by a strong reduction of fluctuations at late times, when superdiffusion sets in.

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