Starting to move through a granular medium

D. J. Costantino, T. J. Scheidemantel, M. B. Stone, C. Conger, K. Klein, M. Lohr, Z. Modig, P. Schiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We explore the process of initiating motion through a granular medium by measuring the force required to push a flat circular plate upward from underneath the medium. In contrast with previous measurements of the drag and penetration forces, which were conducted during steady state motion, the initiation force has a robust dependence on the diameter of the grains in the medium. We attribute this dependence to the requirement for local dilation of the grains around the circumference of the plate, as evidenced by an observed linear dependence of the initiation force on the plate diameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 3 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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