Physical Review E
(Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics)
December 1996, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp. 6485-6494

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Origin of stick-slip motion in a driven two-wave potential

M. G. Rozman
NORDITA, Blegdamsvej 17, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
M. Urbakh and J. Klafter
School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
Received 16 May 1996

A model is presented of a particle that interacts with two periodic potentials, representing two confining plates, one of which is externally driven. The model leads to a spectrum of rich behaviors in the motion of the top driven plate: a stick-slip, intermittent kinetic regime, characterized by force fluctuations, and two types of sliding above a critical driving velocity vc. Similar behaviors are typical of a broad range of systems including thin sheared liquids. A detailed analysis of the different regimes displays an interesting transition range between stick-slip and kinetic motion, omega -2 power spectra of the force over a wide range of velocities below vc, and a decrease of the force fluctuations that follows (vc-v)1/2 for v<vc. The velocity-dependent Liapunov exponents demonstrate that stick-slip dynamics is characterized by chaotic behavior of the top plate and the embedded particle. An equation is derived that provides a coarse-grained description of the plate motion near vc.

©1996 The American Physical Society


68.15.+e Surfaces and interfaces;
46.30.Pa Friction, wear, mechanical contacts, and tribology
05.45.+b Statistical physics and thermodynamics : Theory and models of chaotic systems
05.40.+j Statistical physics and thermodynamics : Fluctuation phenomena

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© 2001 Michael Rozman (
Last modified: May 24, 2001