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Sudden Collapse of a Cluster (Publ. 37, 43, 44)
In most practical applications, clusters are not at all welcome and one tries to get rid
of them. In our setup this can be accomplished by increasing the shaking strength
above a critical level. As it turns out, the breakdown of a cluster is by no means a
simple time-reversal of the cluster formation.
The four experimental snapshots
depicted on the cover of PRL show
a vigorously shaken cluster that
remains almost unaffected for
42 seconds, and then suddenly collapses:
Within 1 second (!) the particles
spread out over the compartments.