### Refine

#### Keywords

- ageing (3)
- anomalous diffusion (3)
- stochastic processes (3)
- Collisional physics (1)
- Planetary rings (1)
- Saturn, Rings (1)
- coagulation-fragmentation (1)
- kinetic theory (1)
- planetary rings (1)

#### Institute

We propose a simple theoretical model for aggregative and fragmentative collisions in Saturn's dense rings. In this model the ring matter consists of a bimodal size distribution: large (meter sized) boulders and a population of smaller particles (tens of centimeters down to dust). The small particles can adhesively stick to the boulders and can be released as debris in binary collisions of their carriers. To quantify the adhesion force we use the JKR theory (Johnson, K., Kendall, K., Roberts, A. [1971]. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 324, 301-313). The rates of release and adsorption of particles are calculated, depending on material parameters, sizes, and plausible velocity dispersions of carriers and debris particles. In steady state we obtain an expression for the amount of free debris relative to the fraction still attached to the carriers. In terms of this conceptually simple model a paucity of subcentimeter particles in Saturn's rings (French, R.G., Nicholson, P.D. [2000]. Icarus 145, 502-523; Marouf, E. et al. [2008]. Abstracts for "Saturn after Cassini-Huygens" Symposium, Imperial College London, UK, July 28 to August 1, p. 113) can be understood as a consequence of the increasing strength of adhesion (relative to inertial forces) for decreasing particle size. In this case particles smaller than a certain critical radius remain tightly attached to the surfaces of larger boulders, even when the boulders collide at their typical speed. Furthermore, we find that already a mildly increased velocity dispersion of the carrier-particles may significantly enhance the fraction of free debris particles, in this way increasing the optical depth of the system.

Saturn's rings consist of a huge number of water ice particles, with a tiny addition of rocky material. They form a flat disk, as the result of an interplay of angular momentum conservation and the steady loss of energy in dissipative interparticle collisions. For particles in the size range from a few centimeters to a few meters, a power-law distribution of radii, similar to r(-q) with q approximate to 3, has been inferred; for larger sizes, the distribution has a steep cutoff. It has been suggested that this size distribution may arise from a balance between aggregation and fragmentation of ring particles, yet neither the power-law dependence nor the upper size cutoff have been established on theoretical grounds. Here we propose a model for the particle size distribution that quantitatively explains the observations. In accordance with data, our model predicts the exponent q to be constrained to the interval 2.75 <= q <= 3.5. Also an exponential cutoff for larger particle sizes establishes naturally with the cutoff radius being set by the relative frequency of aggregating and disruptive collisions. This cutoff is much smaller than the typical scale of microstructures seen in Saturn's rings.

We define and study in detail utraslow scaled Brownian motion (USBM) characterized by a time dependent diffusion coefficient of the form D(t) similar or equal to 1/t. For unconfined motion the mean squared displacement (MSD) of USBM exhibits an ultraslow, logarithmic growth as function of time, in contrast to the conventional scaled Brownian motion. In a harmonic potential the MSD of USBM does not saturate but asymptotically decays inverse-proportionally to time, reflecting the highly non-stationary character of the process. We show that the process is weakly non-ergodic in the sense that the time averaged MSD does not converge to the regular MSD even at long times, and for unconfined motion combines a linear lag time dependence with a logarithmic term. The weakly non-ergodic behaviour is quantified in terms of the ergodicity breaking parameter. The USBM process is also shown to be ageing: observables of the system depend on the time gap between initiation of the test particle and start of the measurement of its motion. Our analytical results are shown to agree excellently with extensive computer simulations.

Brownian motion is ergodic in the Boltzmann-Khinchin sense that long time averages of physical observables such as the mean squared displacement provide the same information as the corresponding ensemble average, even at out-of-equilibrium conditions. This property is the fundamental prerequisite for single particle tracking and its analysis in simple liquids. We study analytically and by event-driven molecular dynamics simulations the dynamics of force-free cooling granular gases and reveal a violation of ergodicity in this Boltzmann-Khinchin sense as well as distinct ageing of the system. Such granular gases comprise materials such as dilute gases of stones, sand, various types of powders, or large molecules, and their mixtures are ubiquitous in Nature and technology, in particular in Space. We treat-depending on the physical-chemical properties of the inter-particle interaction upon their pair collisions-both a constant and a velocity-dependent (viscoelastic) restitution coefficient epsilon. Moreover we compare the granular gas dynamics with an effective single particle stochastic model based on an underdamped Langevin equation with time dependent diffusivity. We find that both models share the same behaviour of the ensemble mean squared displacement (MSD) and the velocity correlations in the limit of weak dissipation. Qualitatively, the reported non-ergodic behaviour is generic for granular gases with any realistic dependence of epsilon on the impact velocity of particles.

It is quite generally assumed that the overdamped Langevin equation provides a quantitative description of the dynamics of a classical Brownian particle in the long time limit. We establish and investigate a paradigm anomalous diffusion process governed by an underdamped Langevin equation with an explicit time dependence of the system temperature and thus the diffusion and damping coefficients. We show that for this underdamped scaled Brownian motion (UDSBM) the overdamped limit fails to describe the long time behaviour of the system and may practically even not exist at all for a certain range of the parameter values. Thus persistent inertial effects play a non-negligible role even at significantly long times. From this study a general questions on the applicability of the overdamped limit to describe the long time motion of an anomalously diffusing particle arises, with profound consequences for the relevance of overdamped anomalous diffusion models. We elucidate our results in view of analytical and simulations results for the anomalous diffusion of particles in free cooling granular gases.

Brownianmotion is ergodic in the Boltzmann–Khinchin sense that long time averages of physical observables such as the mean squared displacement provide the same information as the corresponding ensemble average, even at out-of-equilibrium conditions. This property is the fundamental prerequisite for single particle tracking and its analysis in simple liquids. We study analytically and by event-driven molecular dynamics simulations the dynamics of force-free cooling granular gases and reveal a violation of ergodicity in this Boltzmann–
Khinchin sense as well as distinct ageing of the system. Such granular gases comprise materials such as dilute gases of stones, sand, various types of powders, or large molecules, and their mixtures are ubiquitous in Nature and technology, in particular in Space. We treat—depending on the physical-chemical properties of the inter-particle interaction upon their pair collisions—both a constant and a velocity-dependent (viscoelastic) restitution coefficient e. Moreover we compare the granular gas dynamics with an effective single particle stochastic model based on an underdamped Langevin equation with time dependent diffusivity. We find that both models share the same behaviour of the ensemble mean squared displacement (MSD) and the velocity correlations in the limit of weak dissipation. Qualitatively, the reported non-ergodic behaviour is generic for granular gases with any realistic dependence of e on the impact velocity of particles.

Brownianmotion is ergodic in the Boltzmann–Khinchin sense that long time averages of physical observables such as the mean squared displacement provide the same information as the corresponding ensemble average, even at out-of-equilibrium conditions. This property is the fundamental prerequisite for single particle tracking and its analysis in simple liquids. We study analytically and by event-driven molecular dynamics simulations the dynamics of force-free cooling granular gases and reveal a violation of ergodicity in this Boltzmann-Khinchin sense as well as distinct ageing of the system. Such granular gases comprise materials such as dilute gases of stones, sand, various types of powders, or large molecules, and their mixtures are ubiquitous in Nature and technology, in particular in Space. We treat—depending on the physical-chemical properties of the inter-particle interaction upon their pair collisions—both a constant and a velocity-dependent
(viscoelastic) restitution coefficient e. Moreover we compare the granular gas dynamics with an effective single particle stochastic model based on an underdamped Langevin equation with time dependent diffusivity. We find that both models share the same behaviour of the ensemble mean squared displacement (MSD) and the velocity correlations in the limit of weak dissipation. Qualitatively, the reported non-ergodic behaviour is generic for granular gases with any realistic dependence of e on the impact velocity of particles.

We define and study in detail utraslow scaled Brownian motion (USBM) characterized by a time dependent diffusion coefficient of the form . For unconfined motion the mean squared displacement (MSD) of USBM exhibits an ultraslow, logarithmic growth as function of time, in contrast to the conventional scaled Brownian motion. In a harmonic potential the MSD of USBM does not saturate but asymptotically decays inverse-proportionally to time, reflecting the highly non-stationary character of the process. We show that the process is weakly non-ergodic in the sense that the time averaged MSD does not converge to the regular MSD even at long times, and for unconfined motion combines a linear lag time dependence with a logarithmic term. The weakly non-ergodic behaviour is quantified in terms of the ergodicity breaking parameter. The USBM process is also shown to be ageing: observables of the system depend on the time gap between initiation of the test particle and start of the measurement of its motion. Our analytical results are shown to agree excellently with extensive computer simulations.