University of Chicago physicists have created a novel state of matter using nothing more than a container of loosely packed sand and a falling marble. They have found that the impacting marble produces a jet of sand grains that briefly behaves like a special type of dense fluid.
"Were discovering a new type of fluid state that seems to exist in this combination of gas--air in this case--and a dense arrangement of particles," said Heinrich Jaeger, Professor in Physics and Director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Chicago. "Its just a most amazing phenomenon."
Jaegers team describes the surprising phenomenon in the December issue of the journal Nature Physics. The team consists of graduate students John Royer and Eric Corwin; 2003 University of Chicago physics graduate Andrew Flior; visiting physics graduate student Maria-Luisa Cordero from the Universidad de Chile; Peter Eng, a Senior Research Associate at the Universitys James Franck Institute; and Mark Rivers, Associate Director of the Universitys Consortium for Advanced Radiation Sources.
Steve Koppes | EurekAlert!
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