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GSGS-student Filip Elekes solves a geophysical key problem!

His paper has now been published by PNAS and the results are applicable to a variety of areas from planetary research to 3-D printing.

The prediction of the angle of repose for raised mounds of dry cohesive granular material is a long-standing problem in the natural sciences and in industry. Using numerical (particle-based) simulations, geophysicists Dr Eric Parteli and Filip Elekes have developed a mathematical model that allows them to predict this angle, hence solving a long-standing problem. The interplay of particle size, flow behaviour (angle of repose) and gravity (gravitational acceleration) is important for various industrial applications, such as additive manufacturing (e.g., 3-D printing). Understanding granular matter and powder systems is becoming increasingly important in space and planetary science. Originally, Elekes and Parteli had asked themselves: Are sand hills on the Moon steeper than on Earth because of the lower gravitational acceleration there? Through their research, they can now clearly answer this question with yes.

If you would like to know more about their research and have a look at the finished paper, please refer to the University┬┤s press release.