Granular Matter

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 185–191 | Cite as

Experimental measurements of orientation and rotation of dense 3D packings of spheres

  • Matt Harrington
  • Michael Lin
  • Kerstin N. Nordstrom
  • Wolfgang Losert
Original Paper


Many recent advances in the study of granular media have stemmed from the improved capability to image and track individual grains in two and three dimensions. While two-dimensional systems readily yield both translational and rotational motion, a challenge in three-dimensional experiments is the tracking of rotational motion of isotropic particles. We propose an extension of the refractive index matched scanning technique as a method of measuring individual particle rotation. Initial measurements indicate that shear-driven rotational motion may stem from gear-like motion within the shear zone.


Rotational motion Three-dimensional imaging Shear-banding Particle tracking Friction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt Harrington
    • 1
  • Michael Lin
    • 1
  • Kerstin N. Nordstrom
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Losert
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physics and IREAPUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physics, IPST, and IREAPUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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