Local jamming via penetration of a granular medium

M. B. Stone, R. Barry, D. P. Bernstein, M. D. Pelc, Y. K. Tsui, P. Schiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present a series of measurements examining the penetration force required to push a flat plate vertically through a dense granular medium, focusing in particular on the effects of the bottom boundary of the vessel containing the medium. Our data demonstrate that the penetration force near the bottom is strongly affected by the surface properties of the bottom boundary, even many grain diameters above the bottom. Furthermore, the data indicate an intrinsic length scale for the interaction of the penetrating plate with the vessel bottom via the medium. This length scale, which corresponds to the extent of local jamming induced by the penetrating plate, has a square root dependence both upon the plate radius and the ambient granular stress near the bottom boundary, but it is independent of penetration velocity and grain diameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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