Measurements of particle dynamics in slow, dense granular Couette flow
Experimental measurements of particle dynamics on the lower surface of a three-dimensional (3D) Couette cell containing monodisperse spheres are reported. The average radial density and velocity profiles are similar to those previously measured within the bulk and on the lower surface of the 3D cell filled with mustard seeds. Observations of the evolution of particle velocities over time reveal distinct motion events, intervals where previously stationary particles move for a short duration before jamming again. The cross correlation between the velocities of two particles at a given distance r from the moving wall reveals a characteristic length scale over which the particles are correlated. The autocorrelation of a single particle’s velocity reveals a characteristic time scale τ, which decreases with increasing distance from the inner moving wall. This may be attributed to the increasing rarity at which the discrete motion events occur and the reduced duration of those events at large r. The relationship between the rms azimuthal velocity fluctuations, δvθ(r), and average shear rate, γ̇(r), was found to be δvθ∝γ̇α with α=0.52±0.04. These observations are compared with other recent experiments and with the modified hydrodynamic model recently introduced by Bocquet et al.