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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Nov 25;107(22):225502. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Experimental evidence of rotational elastic waves in granular phononic crystals.

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LAUM, CNRS, Université du Maine, Av. O. Messiaen, 72085 Le Mans, France.


A generalized theory of elasticity, taking into account the rotational degrees of freedom of point bodies constituting a continuum, was proposed at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Cosserat brothers. We report the experimental observation of coupled rotational-translational modes in a noncohesive granular phononic crystal. While absent in the classical theory of elasticity, these elastic wave modes are predicted by the Cosserat theory. However the Cosserat theory fails to predict correctly the dispersion of the elastic modes in granular crystals even in the long-wavelength limit.

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