1/f noise on the brink of wet granular melting
The collective behavior of a two-dimensional wet granular cluster under horizontal swirling motions is investigated experimentally. Depending on the balance between the energy injection and dissipation, the cluster evolves into various nonequilibrium stationary states with strong internal structure fluctuations with time. Quantitative characterizations of the fluctuations with the bond orientational order parameter q6 reveal power spectra of the form f a with the exponent ? closely related to the stationary states of the system. In particular, 1 f type of noisewith α ≈ -1 emerges as melting starts fromthe free surface of the cluster, suggesting the possibility of using 1 f noise as an indicator for phase transitions in systems driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium.