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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jun 30;96(25):258001. Epub 2006 Jun 26.

Crystallization of a quasi-two-dimensional granular fluid.

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Benjamin Levich Institute, The City College of the City University of New York, 140th Street and Convent Avenue, New York, New York 10031, USA.


We experimentally investigate the crystallization of a uniformly heated quasi-2D granular fluid as a function of the filling fraction. Our experimental results for the Lindemann melting criterion, the radial distribution function, the bond order parameter, and the statistics of topological changes at the particle level are the same as those found in simulations of equilibrium hard disks. This direct mapping suggests that the study of equilibrium systems can be effectively applied to study nonequilibrium steady states such as those found in our driven and dissipative granular system.

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