## Abstract

A simple model of ballistic aggregation and fragmentation is proposed. The model is characterized by two energy thresholds, E_{agg} and E _{frag}, which demarcate different types of impacts: if the kinetic energy of the relative motion of a colliding pair is smaller than E _{agg} or larger than E_{frag}, particles respectively merge or break; otherwise they rebound. We assume that particles are formed from monomers which cannot split any further and that in a collision-induced fragmentation the larger particle splits into two fragments. We start from the Boltzmann equation for the mass-velocity distribution function and derive Smoluchowski-like equations for concentrations of particles of different mass. We analyze these equations analytically, solve them numerically and perform Monte Carlo simulations. When aggregation and fragmentation energy thresholds do not depend on the masses of the colliding particles, the model becomes analytically tractable. In this case we show the emergence of the two types of behavior: the regime of unlimited cluster growth arises when fragmentation is (relatively) weak and the relaxation towards a steady state occurs when fragmentation prevails. In a model with mass-dependent E_{agg} and E_{frag} the evolution with a crossover from one of the regimes to another has been detected.

Original language | English |
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Article number | P06011 |

Journal | Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment |

Volume | 2009 |

Issue number | 6 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 2009 |

Externally published | Yes |

## Keywords

- Boltzmann equation
- Granular matter
- Irreversible aggregation phenomena (theory)
- Kinetic theory of gases and liquids