SCIENCE

This Mind-Blowing Experiment Makes Sand Behave Just Like A Liquid

Watch a box of sand turn into a "fluidized bed". The experimenters run their hands through the sand and it drips just like water.


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Imagine if the sand on the beach you were walking on suddenly became liquid. Well it is actually physically possible if someone managed to insert a giant air compressor underneath the shoreline. The process is known as fluidization, and it occurs when you place a constant flow of air underneath any fine powder or granulated material. It works when the air forces its way to the surface of the material reducing the friction of the sand and making it appear and behave like liquids. It would even allow objects to sink or float on its surface. But enough with the words.

Check out this video from Rocky Cheng where you can see the process mimicked in miniature in a bucket of sand. You can watch the experimenters run their hands through the sand and it dripping off just like water. The video does funny things to our brain but it's an addictive watch.

Fluidization had its heyday in between the 40’s and 70’s when it was used extensively in the coal mining industry. It still has a place in some industrial process as well as having applications in the shellfish and powder coating industries. This video was posted up to Reddit where a few users tried to decide if this process could be used to build a sand moat around a property. The moat would be solid for most of the time, but if enemies approached, an air compressor would be turned on and the intruders would sink down into the sand and be trapped. Sounds possible and terrifying.

 This Mind-Blowing Experiment Makes Sand Behave Just Like A Liquid

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