The recent avalanche of research activity in the field of granular matter has yielded much progress. The use of state-of-the-art (and other) computational and experimental methods has led to the discovery of new states and patterns and enabled detailed tests of theories and models. The application of statistical mechanical methods and phenomenology has contributed to the understanding of the microscopic a nd macroscopic properties of granular systems. Some previously open problems seem to be solved. Fluidized granular systems (rapid granular flows), recently referred to as granular gases, are often modeled by hydrodynamic equations of motion, some of which are based on systematic expansions applied to the pertinent Boltzmann equation. The undeniable success of granular hydrodynamics is somewhat surprising in view of the lack of scale separation in these systems and the neglect of certain correlations in most derivations of the hydrodynamic equations. Microstructures have been recognized as key features of granular gases; explanations for their existence have been proposed, and many of their properties elucidated. Granular-gas multistability can often be traced back to microstructure dynamics. In spite of these and other impressive advances, this field still poses serious challenges.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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