A Hot Tub, Turned Fluidized Bed

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Fluidized beds continue to be all the rage among science YouTubers, but Mark Rober supersizes his by turning a broken hot tub into a massive bath of bubbling sand. His video includes a nice explanation of how a granular material like sand gets fluidized as well as how to make your own miniature bed. One of my favorite moments is shown in the animation below. When Mark drops a bowling ball into the fluidized bed, it creates a remarkably liquid-like splash. The ball sprays a splash curtain of sand up on impact and sinks into its own cavity. When the cavity seals behind the ball, it shoots up a tall jet of sand, just like a Worthington jet in water. Even with air fluidizing it, the sand doesn’t have surface tension, though, so the jet breaks up quite differently than water! (Video and image credit: M. Rober; submitted by clogwog)

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