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David vs. Goliath: competitive clustering

In a mixture of small and large beads, the clustering is found to be competitive
Publ. 38, 44, 49):

For relatively strong shaking the cluster goes into the left compartment, originally
dominated by the large
black particles. Goliath wins.

1 2 3 4
For weaker shaking, starting from the same initial distribution, the cluster goes into
the right compartment dominated by the smaller
orange particles. David wins.

So the clustering can be directed simply by tuning the shaking
strength! This offers a valuable new sorting method for e.g. the
pharmaceutical industry.

The above snapshots are taken from our 3-minute movie which
won the Gallery of Fluid Motion at the APS Meeting on Fluid
Physics, in Dallas, USA, November 24-26, 2002. It can be viewed

here (with sound, 45 MB!).

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