Join us for the Monday Plenary at the 8th World Congress on Particle Technology with featured plenary speaker Heinrich M. Jaeger, William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago. Heinrich M. Jaeger will be presenting "Contact Charging in Granular Materials."
Contact Charging in Granular Materials
Heinrich M. Jaeger, William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Professor of Physics, University of Chicago
Contact charging of fine, sub-millimeter particles and the resulting clustering is important in circumstances ranging from the early stages of planet formation to industrial powders to airborne pollutants. Even in systems comprised of grains of identical dielectric material, contact charging can generate large amounts of net positive or negative charge on individual particles, resulting in long-range electrostatic forces. Remarkably, even basic aspects of contact charging, such as the nature of the charge carriers or the charge transfer mechanism are still under debate. This talk focuses on recent work where collision events between individual particles are tracked with high-speed video and the charge on single particles can be extracted. In freely falling granular streams we observe collide-and-capture events between charged particles and particle-by-particle aggregation into clusters. Size-dependent contact charging is found to produce a variety of charge-stabilized “granular molecules”, whose configurations can be modeled by taking many-body dielectric polarization effects into account. I will also introduce a new approach, based on ultrasonic levitation, for studying contact charging of single particles. This method allows for measurements under a wide range of environmental conditions as well as applying an electric field, and its exquisite sensitivity makes it possible to determine the charge transferred in a single collision.