Driven fragmentation of granular gases

The dynamics of homogeneously heated granular gases which fragment due to particle collisions is analyzed. We introduce a kinetic model which accounts for correlations induced at the grain collisions and analyze both the kinetics and relevant distribution functions these systems develop. The work combines analytical and numerical studies based on direct simulation Monte Carlo calculations. A broad family of fragmentation probabilities is considered, and its implications for the system kinetics are discussed. We show that generically these driven materials evolve asymptotically into a dynamical scaling regime. If the fragmentation probability tends to a constant, the grain number diverges at a finite time, leading to a shattering singularity. If the fragmentation probability vanishes, then the number of grains grows monotonously as a power law. We consider different homogeneous thermostats and show that the kinetics of these systems depends weakly on both the grain inelasticity and driving. We observe that fragmentation plays a relevant role in the shape of the velocity distribution of the particles. When the fragmentation is driven by local stochastic events, the long velocity tail is essentially exponential independently of the heating frequency and the breaking rule. However, for a Lowe-Andersen thermostat, numerical evidence strongly supports the conjecture that the scaled velocity distribution follows a generalized exponential behavior f (c)~exp (−cⁿ), with n ≈1.2, regarding less the fragmentation mechanisms ​
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