Experimental Study of Nonlinear Resonances and Anti-Resonances in a Forced, Ordered Granular Chain

Y. Zhang, D. Pozharskiy, D. M. McFarland, P. G. Kevrekidis, I. G. Kevrekidis, A. F. Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We experimentally study a one-dimensional uncompressed granular chain composed of a finite number of identical spherical elastic beads with Hertzian interactions. The chain is harmonically excited by an amplitude- and frequency-dependent boundary drive at its left end and has a fixed boundary at its right end. Such ordered granular media represent an interesting new class of nonlinear acoustic metamaterials, since they exhibit essentially nonlinear acoustics and have been designated as “sonic vacua” due to the fact that their corresponding speed of sound (as defined in classical acoustics) is zero. This paves the way for essentially nonlinear and energy-dependent acoustics with no counterparts in linear theory. We experimentally detect time-periodic, strongly nonlinear resonances whereby the particles (beads) of the granular chain respond at integer multiples of the excitation period, and which correspond to local peaks of the maximum transmitted force at the chain’s right, fixed end. In between these resonances we detect a local minimum of the maximum transmitted forces corresponding to an anti-resonance in the stationary-state dynamics. The experimental results of this work confirm previous theoretical predictions, and verify the existence of strongly nonlinear resonance responses in a system with a complete absence of any linear spectrum; as such, the experimentally detected nonlinear resonance spectrum is passively tunable with energy and sensitive to dissipative effects such as internal structural damping in the beads, and friction or plasticity effects. We compare the experimental results with direct numerical simulations of the granular network and deduce satisfactory agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-520
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Granular media
  • Nonlinear resonance and anti-resonance
  • Sonic vacua


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