Collision of a 1-D column of beads with a wall
An experimental study of the collision of a column of N beads (\(\)) with a fixed wall is presented. For a fixed height of fall and a rigid wall, we show that the maximum force felt by the wall is independent of the number of beads N. The duration of impact, the velocity of the deformation wave in the column and an effective restitution coefficient of the column are also measured as a function of N. For a soft wall, we show that the maximum force depends on N. A non-dissipative numerical model, based on a nonlinear interaction law between nearest neighbours, gives results in agreement with the experimental data. Moreover, we show that, after the compression phase, the beads of the top of the column separate one after the other from the column with a velocity greater than the initial one. The beads at the bottom then bounce upwards in block, with a velocity smaller than the initial one. We emphasize that this detachment effect results from the energy redistribution within the whole system during the collision and not from any dissipative effect.
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