Phenomena

Avalanche Disk

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In the Science Storms section of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, you’ll find the mesmerizing sight of an avalanche disk. This 20ft disk spins at a variable rate and angle, and, from the video, you can see that the glass beads simulating an avalanche on the disk move very much like a fluid even though they are not. This is what’s called a granular flow and it’s driven by gravity and friction between particles.

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