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Issue 5, 2017
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Phase separation in driven granular gases: exploring the elusive character of nonequilibrium steady states

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Abstract

The emergence of patterns and phase separation in many-body systems far from thermal equilibrium is discussed using the example of driven granular gases. It is shown that phase separation follows a similar mechanism as in the systems of active Brownian particles. Depending on the quantities chosen for observation, it may or may not be easy to find functionals analogous to the free energy in equilibrium statistical physics. We argue that although such functionals can always be derived from the dynamics, it is of only limited value for predicting relevant aspects of the nonequilibrium steady state of the system. Consequently, although there is indeed a ‘principle’ governing the selection of collective nonequilibrium steady states (and the corresponding large deviation functional can be identified), it is not generally useful for predicting the behaviour of the system.

Graphical abstract: Phase separation in driven granular gases: exploring the elusive character of nonequilibrium steady states

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Sep 2016, accepted on 07 Dec 2016 and first published on 09 Dec 2016


Article type: Opinion
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02224C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 898-910

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    Phase separation in driven granular gases: exploring the elusive character of nonequilibrium steady states

    S. Herminghaus and M. G. Mazza, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 898
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02224C

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