Dry sand can bubble and swirl like a fluid

A jiggle and flowing gas make solid particles of different densities move as if water or oil

solid grains in a glass chamber

BUBBLING UP  Gas flowing up through a gently vibrating glass chamber can cause solid grains to simulate a well-known fluid behavior. Here, bubbles of less dense sand (blue) rise through a layer of denser sand (white).

Alex Penn/ETH Zurich

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