Grainy Geyser: Tall squirts reveal sand's liquid ways | Science News


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Grainy Geyser: Tall squirts reveal sand's liquid ways

12:17pm, July 7, 2004

Loose sand can pack so strongly and densely that it can support a house, yet it can also flow easily, as in an hourglass. Physicists in the Netherlands have now accentuated the liquid behavior of granular materials by reducing the sizes of the particles and the forces between them. The result is a bizarre substance that ejects towering jets of grains when objects drop into it.

Granular materials play important roles in many natural and industrial processes, from the movements of sand dunes and avalanches to the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and concrete (SN: 7/26/03, p. 56: Available to subscribers at Mastering the Mixer

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