The influence of randomness on wave propagation in one-dimensional chains of spherical granular media is investigated. The interaction between the elastic spheres is modeled using the classical Hertzian contact law. Randomness is introduced in the discrete model using random distributions of particle mass, Young's modulus, or radius. Of particular interest in this study is the quantification of the attenuation in the amplitude of the impulse associated with various levels of randomness: two distinct regimes of decay are observed, characterized by an exponential or a power law, respectively. The responses are normalized to represent a vast array of material parameters and impact conditions. The virial theorem is applied to investigate the transfer from potential to kinetic energy components in the system for different levels of randomness. The level of attenuation in the two decay regimes is compared for the three different sources of randomness and it is found that randomness in radius leads to the maximum rate of decay in the exponential regime of wave propagation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031308
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 29 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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