Photoelastic force measurements in granular materials

Daniels KE, Kollmer J, Puckett JG (2017)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2017


Book Volume: 88

Article Number: 051808

Journal Issue: 5

DOI: 10.1063/1.4983049


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 of stress. In this review paper, we summarize 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.

Authors with CRIS profile

Additional Organisation(s)

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Daniels, K.E., Kollmer, J., & Puckett, J.G. (2017). Photoelastic force measurements in granular materials. Review of Scientific Instruments, 88(5).


Daniels, Karen E., Jonathan Kollmer, and James G. Puckett. "Photoelastic force measurements in granular materials." Review of Scientific Instruments 88.5 (2017).

BibTeX: Download