Washboard road: near onset, slow motion

Washboard road: near onset

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Washboard road results from the instability of a granular surface under the action of rolling wheels. Here, a hard rubber wheel rolls on the edge of a rotating table covered with a bed of sand. The wheel suspension is simply a lever. The table is 1.2 m in diameter.

The movie shows the onset of the ripple pattern, which appears as a very small patch of bumps after a while. The movie is in slow motion.

Here are two more movies of a long view of the experiment, and of the fully developed ripple pattern.

Go here for downloadable versions of the movies in other formats.

See Washboard Road abstract for a publications about this effect.

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Go to the Nonlinear Physics Group home page

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The Experimental Nonlinear Physics Group, Dept. of Physics, University of Toronto,
60 St. George St. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1A7. Phone (416) 978 - 6810.