Photoelastic Force Measurements in Granular Materials
Photoelastic techniques are used to make both qualitative and quantitative measurements of the forces within idealized granular materials. The method is based on placing a birefringent granular material between a pair of polarizing filters, so that each region of the material rotates the polarization of light according to the amount of local stress. In this review paper, we summarize the past work using the technique, describe the optics underlying the technique, and illustrate how it can be used to quantitatively determine the vector contact forces between particles in a 2D granular system. We provide a description of software resources available to perform this task, as well as key techniques and resources for building an experimental apparatus.
K. E. Daniels, J. E. Kollmer and J. G. Puckett "Photoelastic force measurements in granular materials." Review of Scientific Instruments 88 (2017).