Noise amplification in frictional systems: Oscillatory instabilities

J Chattoraj and O Gendelman and MP Ciamarra and I Procaccia, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 100, 042901 (2019).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.100.042901

It was discovered recently that frictional granular materials can exhibit an important mechanism for instabilities, i.e., the appearance of pairs of complex eigenvalues in their stability matrix. The consequence is an oscillatory exponential growth of small perturbations which are tamed by dynamical nonlinearities. The amplification can be giant, many orders of magnitude, and it ends with a catastrophic system- spanning plastic event. Here we follow up on this discovery, explore the scaling laws characterizing the onset of the instability, the scenarios of the development of the instability with and without damping, and the nature of the eventual system-spanning events. The possible relevance to earthquake physics and to the transition from static to dynamic friction is discussed.

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