Effective temperatures and activated dynamics for a two-dimensional air-driven granular system on two approaches to jamming

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Dec 12;101(24):245701. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.245701. Epub 2008 Dec 10.


We present experiments on several distinct effective temperatures in a granular system at a sequence of increasing packing densities and at a sequence of decreasing driving rates. This includes single-grain measurements based on the mechanical energies of both the grains and an embedded oscillator, as well as a collective measurement based on the Einstein relation between diffusivity and mobility, which all probe different time scales. Remarkably, all effective temperatures agree. Furthermore, mobility data along the two trajectories collapse when plotted vs effective temperature and exhibit an Arrhenius form with the same energy barrier as the microscopic relaxation time.