Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2008 Feb;77(2 Pt 1):021301. Epub 2008 Feb 5.

Granular labyrinth structures in confined geometries.

Author information

Department of Physics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


Pattern forming processes are abundant in nature. Here, we report on a particular pattern forming process. Upon withdrawal of fluid from a particle-fluid dispersion in a Hele-Shaw cell, the particles are shown to be left behind in intriguing mazelike patterns. The particles, initially being uniformly spread out in a disc, are slowly pulled inwards and together by capillary and pressure forces. Invading air forms branching fingers, whereas the particles are compiled into comparably narrow branches. These branches are connected in a treelike structure, taking the form of a maze. The characteristic length scale within the structure is found to decrease with the volume fraction of the particles and increase with the plate separation in the Hele-Shaw cell. We present a simulator designed to simulate this phenomenon, which reproduces qualitatively and quantitatively the experiments, as well as a theory that can predict the observed wavelengths.


Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center