Phenomena

Granular Jets

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Object impacts in water and other fluids often create cavities that generate jets when they collapse. But impacts on granular materials can produce similar results, forming a cavity, a splash corona, and, under the right circumstances, a jet. This Sixty Symbols video explores the effect of grain size (and thus weight) on the formation of such a rebound jet. Ultimately, the jet behavior is driven by air. When the granular material is poured, air gets trapped between the grains. The impact compresses the grains, forcing the previously trapped air up and out through the cavity created by the impact. Interestingly, once the air pressure is low enough, jet creation is suppressed, not unlike splash suppression in liquids. (Video credit: Sixty Symbols/Univ. of Nottingham)

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