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      Morphology and Scaling of Impact Craters in Granular Media

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          Abstract

          We present the results of experiments on impact craters formed by dropping a steel ball vertically into a container of small glass beads. As the energy of impact increases, we observe a progression of crater morphologies analogous to that seen in craters on the moon. We find that both the diameter and the depth of the craters are proportional to the 1/4 power of the energy. The ratio of crater diameter to rim-to-floor depth is constant for low-energy impacts, but increases at higher energy, similar to what is observed for lunar craters.

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          How Sandcastles Fall

          Capillary forces significantly affect the stability of sandpiles. We analyze the stability of sandpiles with such forces, and find that the critical angle is unchanged in the limit of an infinitely large system; however, this angle is increased for finite-sized systems. The failure occurs in the bulk of the sandpile rather than at the surface. This is related to a standard result in soil mechanics. The increase in the critical angle is determined by the surface roughness of the particles, and exhibits three regimes as a function of the added-fluid volume. Our theory is in qualitative agreement with the recent experimental results of Hornbaker et al., although not with the interpretation they make of these results.
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            Granular jets

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              The Scaling of Impact Processes in Planetary Sciences

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                PRLTAO
                Physical Review Letters
                Phys. Rev. Lett.
                American Physical Society (APS)
                0031-9007
                1079-7114
                September 2003
                September 4 2003
                : 91
                : 10
                Article
                10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.104301
                14525480
                bf683616-d47d-4a9e-8c64-be515a40ffe4
                © 2003

                http://link.aps.org/licenses/aps-default-license

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