Build Your Own Fluidized Bed

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Previously, we featured some GIFs of bubbling, fluidized sand (below). Inspired by the same video, Dianna from Physics Girl decided to build her own set-up, discovering along the way that it’s a little tougher than you might think. To work well, you’ll need very fine, dry particles and a good way to uniformly distribute the air so it doesn’t simply bubble up in one spot. And if you accidentally apply too much air pressure, you may get a face full of sand. The final results are very fun, though, and hopefully Dianna’s lessons learned will help any other DIYers interested in trying this experiment at home. For a little more on the physics here and in related topics, check out some of our previous posts on fluidization, soil liquefaction, quicksand, and dam failures. (Video credit: Physics Girl; image credit: R. Cheng, source)

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