Model for collisions in granular gases

Nikolai V. Brilliantov, Frank Spahn, Jan Martin Hertzsch, Thorsten Pöschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

655 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a model for collisions between particles of a granular material and calculate the restitution coefficients for the normal and tangential motion as functions of the impact velocity from considerations of dissipative viscoelastic collisions. Existing models of impact with dissipation as well as the classical Hertz impact theory are included in the present model as special cases. We find that the type of collision (smooth, reflecting or sticky) is determined by the impact velocity and by the surface properties of the colliding grains. We observe a rather nontrivial dependence of the tangential restitution coefficient on the impact velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5382-5392
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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