Granular matter is typically the result of random pattern formation in a solid, like breaking a glass or pulverizing a rock into pieces of variable sizes. Faraday waves are patterns that appear on a fluid that is perturbed by an external drive that oscillates in resonance. Faraday waves aren't random; in contrast to granular matter, these waves are regular, standing, periodic patterns, seen for instance in liquids in a vessel that is shaken. Surprisingly, granulation and Faraday waves can exist in quantum systems too and, even more surprisingly, they can be produced in the same quantum system: in a gas of trapped atoms cooled very close to absolute zero temperature. When the strength of interactions between atoms is modulated, a Faraday pattern is produced if the modulation is fast and weak, and a granular state is formed if the modulation is slow and strong.
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1 Technische Universität Wien, now: Institute of Physics, Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg 2 Institute of Physical Chemistry, Universität Heidelberg
Materials Science & Chemistry
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