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Fluctuation-induced Casimir forces in granular fluids

American Physical Society
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  • Termodinámica
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics


We numerically investigate the behavior of driven noncohesive granular media and find that two fixed large intruder particles, immersed in a sea of small particles, experience, in addition to a short-range depletion force, a long-range repulsive force. The observed long-range interaction is fluctuation-induced and we propose a mechanism similar to the Casimir effect that generates it: The hydrodynamic fluctuations are geometrically confined between the intruders, producing an unbalanced renormalized pressure. An estimation based on computing the possible Fourier modes explains the repulsive force and is in qualitative agreement with the simulations.

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