Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Granular media

Information propagation

The transmission of force through granular matter such as sand is a crucial consideration in certain applications. The behaviour observed depends on the particle interactions as well as on the length scale involved.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Three modes of information propagation in two dimensions.


  1. Goldenberg, C. & Goldhirsch, I. Nature 435, 188–191 (2005).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Janssen, H. A. Z. Ver. Dt. Ingen. 39, 1045–1049 (1895).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Smid, J. & Novosad, J. Proc. 1981 Powtech Conf., Inst. Chem. Eng. Symp. 63, D3V 1–12 (1981).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Savage, S. B. in Physics of Dry Granular Media (eds Herrmann, H. J., Hovi, J. -P. & Luding, S.) 25–95 (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1998).

  5. Wittmer, J. P., Claudin, P., Cates, M. E. & Bouchaud, J. -P. Nature 382, 336–338 (1996).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Bouchaud, J. -P., Cates, M. E. & Claudin, P. J. Phys. I 5, 639–656 (1995).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Luding, S. Phys. Rev. E 55, 4720–4729 (1997).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Geng, J. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 035506 (2001).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Spannuth, M. J., Mueggenburg, N. W., Jaeger, H. M. & Nagel, S. R. Granular Matter 6, 215–219 (2004).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Reydellet, G. & Clement, E. Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 3308–3311 (2001).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Geng, J., Reydellet, G., Clément, E. & Behringer, R. P. Physica D 182, 274–303 (2003).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. Da Silva, M. & Rajchenbach, J. Nature 406, 708–710 (2000).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Stone, M. B. et al. Nature 427, 503–504 (2004).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Howell, D., Behringer, R. P. & Veje, C. Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 5241–5244 (1999).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Otto, M., Bouchaud, J. -P., Claudin, P. & Socolar, J. E. S. Phys. Rev. E 67, 031302 (2003).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Blumenfeld, R. J. Phys. A 36, 2399–2411 (2003).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  17. Tkachenko, A. V. & Witten, T. A. Phys. Rev. E 60, 687–696 (1999).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Moukarzel, C. F., Pacheco-Martinez, H., Ruiz-Suarez, J. C. & Vidales, A. M. Granular Matter 6, 61–66 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Liffman, K., Nguyen, M., Metcalfe, G. & Cleary, P. Granular Matter 3, 165–176 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Goldenberg, C. & Goldhirsch, I. Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 084302 (2002).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Goldhirsch, I. & Goldenberg, C. Eur. Phys. J. E 9, 245–251 (2002).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Luding, S. Information propagation. Nature 435, 159–160 (2005).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing