Date of Award

Spring 6-6-2018

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Lane Seeley

Second Advisor/Committee Member

John Lindberg


condensed matter, granular medium, physics, crystallization


Granular media are everywhere from beaches to factories to your kitchen cabinets. There are a rich array of phenomena to study with granular media. These include granular convection, jamming, and crystallization. The systems tend to be macroscopic, so it is easy to collect data. The supplies are low-cost and easy to obtain. Studying granular media gives researchers the opportunity to explore foundational ideas in fields such as crystallography and condensed matter. This paper describes a simple, low cost apparatus used to study a vertically shaken two-dimensional granular medium of glass beads. This paper will also describe a few preliminary studies with this instrument. This includes attempts to observe granular convection and studies on crystallization. We examined the effect of the container's geometry on the crystallization of the beads. We found evidence suggested that the beads transitioned from a random close pack arrangement to a hexagonal close pack. The paper ends with suggestions of further studies that could be done using this instrument.

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