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Published August 2, 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Laser-based excitation of nonlinear solitary waves in a chain of particles


Highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs) are stress waves that can form and travel in highly nonlinear systems. They are characterized by a constant spatial wavelength and by a tunable propagation speed, dependent on the wave amplitude. Conventionally, HNSW's are generated in one-dimensional chains of spherical particles by means of a mechanical impact. In this paper, we demonstrate that short-duration laser pulses can be used to generate HNSW's, and we characterize their propagating properties in terms of shape, speed, and duration. We compare the waves' characteristics with theoretical predictions, finding excellent agreement. In addition a simplified formulation is given to estimate the dynamic contact force generated by laser pulses onto the chain.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Physical Society. Received 13 October 2010; revised manuscript received 21 May 2011; published 2 August 2011. We acknowledge financial support from the US National Science Foundation Grant No. CMMI–0825983 (Dr. Eduardo Misawa, Program Director). C.D. acknowledges support from NSF/CMMI-0844540 (Career). P.R. and X.N. also acknowledge the financial support from the American Society for Nondestructive Testing.

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Published - Ni2011p15525Phys_Rev_E.pdf


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