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Dynamics of a Granular Particle on a Rough Surface With a Staircase Profile
Mathematics and Statistics Faculty Publications and Presentations
  • J. J. P. Veerman, Portland State University
  • F. V. Cunha, Jr., Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
  • G. L. Vasconcelos, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Nonlinear dynamics,
  • Granular flow -- Mathematical models,
  • Friction

A simple model is presented for the motion of a grain down a rough inclined surface with a staircase profile. The model is an extension of an earlier model of ours where we now allow for bouncing, i.e., we consider a non-vanishing normal coefficient of restitution. It is shown that in parameter space there are three regions of interest: (i) a region of smaller inclinations where the orbits are always bounded (and we argue that the particle always stops); (ii) a transition region where halting, periodic and unbounded orbits co-exist; and (iii) a region of large inclinations where no halting orbit exists (and we conjecture that the motion is always unbounded). Fixed points are also found at precisely the inclination separating regions (i) and (ii).


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication.

A definitive version was subsequently published in Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena and can be found online at:

Persistent Identifier
Citation Information
J. J. P. Veerman, F. V. Cunha and G. L. Vasconcelos. "Dynamics of a Granular Particle on a Rough Surface With a Staircase Profile" (2002)
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