Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Donald Candela

Second Advisor

Narayanan Menon

Third Advisor

Anthony Dinsmore

Subject Categories



This dissertation presents experiments that studied two gravity driven granular channel flows. The first experiment used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the density and displacement distributions of poppy seeds flowing in a rough walled channel. Time-averaged measurements of normalized velocity and density showed little flow speed dependence. Instantaneous measurements, however, showed marked velocity dependence in the displacement distributions. There was evidence of aperiodic starting and stopping at lower flow speeds and the onset of density waves on a continuous flow at higher speeds. The second experiment measured forces in all three spatial directions at the boundary of a flow of steel balls. The relationship between the normal and the tangential forces were examined statistically and compared to the Coulomb friction model. For both large and small forces, the tangential and normal forces are unrelated, as there appears to be a strong tendency for the tangential force to maintain a value that will bear the weight the weight of the particles in flow.


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