Slow dynamics in a single glass bead

John Y. Yoritomo, Richard L. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Slow dynamic nonlinearity is ubiquitous amongst brittle materials, such as rocks and concrete, with cracked microstructures. A defining feature of the behavior is the logarithmic-in-time recovery of stiffness after a mechanical conditioning. Materials observed to exhibit slow dynamics are sufficiently different in microstructure, chemical composition, and scale (ranging from the laboratory to the seismological) to suggest some kind of universality. A consensus of theoretical understanding of the universality in general and the log(time) recovery in particular is lacking. Seminal studies were focused on sandstones and other natural rocks, but in recent years other experimental venues have been introduced with which to inform theory. One such system is unconsolidated glass bead packs. However, bead packs still contain many contact points. The force distribution amongst the contacts is unknown. Here, we present slow dynamics measurements on a yet simpler system- A single glass bead confined between two large glass plates. The system is designed with a view towards rapid control of the contact zone environment. Ultrasonic waves are used as a probe of the system, and changes are assessed with coda wave interferometry. Three different methods of low-frequency conditioning are applied; all lead to slow dynamic recoveries. Results imply that force chains do not play an essential role in granular media slow dynamics, as they are absent in our system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012902
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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