Statistical Physics

The physics of sandcastles: maximum angle of stability in wet and dry granular media

We demonstrate that stability criteria can be used to calculate the maximum angle of stability, m, of a granular medium composed of spherical particles in three dimensions and circular discs in two dimensions. We apply the results to wet granular material by calculating the dependence of m on the liquid content of the material. The results are in good agreement with our experimental data.


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I. Albert, P. Tegzes, B. Kahng, R. Albert, J.G. Sample, M.A. Pfeifer, A.-L. Barabási, T. Vicsek, P. Schiffer

Physical Review Letters 84, 5122–5125 (2000)