Damped-driven granular chains: An ideal playground for dark breathers and multibreathers

C. Chong, F. Li, J. Yang, M. O. Williams, I. G. Kevrekidis, P. G. Kevrekidis, C. Daraio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


By applying an out-of-phase actuation at the boundaries of a uniform chain of granular particles, we demonstrate experimentally that time-periodic and spatially localized structures with a nonzero background (so-called dark breathers) emerge for a wide range of parameter values and initial conditions. We demonstrate a remarkable control over the number of breathers within the multibreather pattern that can be "dialed in" by varying the frequency or amplitude of the actuation. The values of the frequency (or amplitude) where the transition between different multibreather states occurs are predicted accurately by the proposed theoretical model, which is numerically shown to support exact dark breather and multibreather solutions. Moreover, we visualize detailed temporal and spatial profiles of breathers and, especially, of multibreathers using a full-field probing technology and enable a systematic favorable comparison among theory, computation, and experiments. A detailed bifurcation analysis reveals that the dark and multibreather families are connected in a "snaking" pattern, providing a roadmap for the identification of such fundamental states and their bistability in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032924
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 31 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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