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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2005 Jan;71(1 Pt 2):016313. Epub 2005 Jan 28.

Statistical characterization of the forces on spheres in an upflow of air.

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Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095-1547, USA.


The dynamics of a sphere fluidized in a nearly levitating upflow of air were previously found to be identical to those of a Brownian particle in a two-dimensional harmonic trap, consistent with a Langevin equation [Ojha et al., Nature (London) 427, 521 (2004)]. The random forcing, the drag, and the trapping potential represent different aspects of the interaction of the sphere with the air flow. In this paper we vary the experimental conditions for a single sphere, and report on how the force terms in the Langevin equation scale with air flow speed, sphere radius, sphere density, and system size. We also report on the effective interaction potential between two spheres in an upflow of air.


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