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PUTTING a jar full of metal beads on a subwoofer makes more than just a rattle. Add light and it can become a laser that changes frequency when the beads are shaken harder. Such a tunable laser could lead to crisper projected images and help unlock the mysterious behaviour of granular materials, seen in sand castles, dunes and avalanches.
Originally posted by violet
I would have thought grains of sand assembling themselves was due to magnetism.
Not that this has anything go do with it, but I'm always fascinated by a tree in my yard that drops seeds onto my patio. They get scattered by the wind of course but strong gusty winds fail to blow them away. They gather and swirl upwards, in a spiraling motion, then settle Into patterns on the surface. They're difficult to sweep away, like they have static qualities, I have to hose them off