Employing two-dimensional molecular dynamics simulations of dense granular materials under simple shear deformations, we investigate vortex structures of particle rearrangements. Introducing vorticity fields as a measure of local spinning motions of the particles, we observe their heterogeneous distributions, where statistics of vorticity fields exhibit the highly non-Gaussian behavior and typical domain sizes of vorticity fields significantly increase if the system is yielding under quasistatic deformations. In such dense granular flows, a power-law decay of vorticity spectra can be observed at mesoscopic scale, implying anomalous local structures of kinetic energy dissipation. We explain the power-law decay, or enstrophy cascades in dense granular materials, by a dimensional analysis, where the dependence of vorticity spectra not only on the wave number, but also on the shear rate, is well explained. From our dimensional analyses, the scaling of granular temperature and rotational kinetic energy is also predicted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics