Self-sustaining charging of identical colliding particles

Theo Siu, Jake Cotton, Gregory Mattson, Troy Shinbrot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Recent experiments have demonstrated that identical material samples can charge one another after being brought into symmetric contact. The mechanism for this charging is not known. In this article, we use a simplified one-dimensional lattice model to analyze charging in the context of agitated particles. We find that the electric field from a single weakly polarized grain can feed back on itself by polarizing its neighbors, leading to an exponential growth in polarization. We show that, by incorporating partial neutralization between neighboring polarized particles, either uniform alignment of dipoles or complex charge and polarization waves can be produced. We reproduce a polarized state experimentally using identical colliding particles and raise several issues for future study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052208
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 14 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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