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Physics  2008 

Viscous Decoupling Transitions for Individually Dragged Particles in Systems with Quenched Disorder

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.78.011402

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We show that when an individual particle is dragged through an assembly of other particles in the presence of quenched disorder, a viscous decoupling transition occurs between the dragged particle and the surrounding particles which is controlled by the quenched disorder. A counterintuitive consequence of this transition is that the velocity of the dragged particle can be increased by increasing the strength or density of the quenched disorder. The decoupling transition can also occur when the external drive on the dragged particle is increased, and is observable as a clear signature in the velocity-force response.


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