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Friction, Arching, Contact Dynamics

October 28-30, 1996
HLRZ, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

As in previous years, the German Supercomputing Center HLRZ organized a workshop on a topic that highlights the contribution computers make in modern research. This year the topics were the microscopic origins as well as the macroscopic manifestations of solid friction. It was the purpose of the workshop to stimulate the exchange of the latest research results in physics (experimental, theoretical and computational) and engineering (soil mechanics, tribology) in this rapidly evolving field.

Friction between solid surfaces plays an enormous role in everyday life and industrial material processing. It enables us to walk, to brake a car, to make a knot, to transport things on conveyor-belts. It is also responsible for a great deal of energy consumption and wear e.g. in bearings and for accidents like collapses of silos. It constitutes an essential part of spectacular phenomena like earthquakes and electrostatic charging. Nonetheless a fundamental understanding of the physics of friction is only recently emerging.

In the transition from the individual friction between grains to the collective one it is essential to take normal forces and the corresponding phenomenon of arching into account. The workshop covered the microscopic dynamics of two surfaces in contact (friction in the narrower sense) as well as static distributions of contact forces in dense granular packings (arching) and the collective dissipative behaviour of many grains in contact (contact dynamics).

Organizing Committee:

D. Wolf, Univ. Duisburg
P. Grassberger, HLRZ


A book containing all contributions is available from the publisher World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., ISBN 9810231423.