Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy; McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Gulliver Laboratory, ESPCI ParisTech, PSL Research University, Paris, France.
“Bubbles and Droplets as Granular Analogues of Continuum Materials “
In recent years we have developed a method to produce microscopic monodisperse oil droplets in an aqueous environment. With an attractive interaction between the droplets, these monodisperse droplets form perfect crystalline aggregates, while a blend of small and large droplets allows us to prepare a disordered glass. By carefully tuning the adhesion forces between the droplets, the aggregates provide model systems for studying various physical phenomena that are not accessible by investigating molecular systems. I will provide a brief overview of experiments we have carried out to address two fundamental questions. First, how does a system transition from crystal to glass, when blending large and small droplets? And second, how does a system transition from granular, when there are a few particles, to many particles, where continuum models are valid. These experiments enable us to study broad questions which relate to real-world problems like predicting the failure and fracture of materials, flow through a hopper, and the size and time distribution of avalanches.