Solving the pancake problem

If you swirl a glass of wine clockwise, the wine inside will also rotate clockwise. But, if you're making a blueberry pancake and you swirl the pan clockwise, the pancake will rotate counterclockwise. Don't believe us? Go ...

Helical locomotion in a granular medium by a 'sand robot'

Moving within granular media such as sand is a trick that occurs not only in science-fiction movies. The sandfish lizard, which lives in the desert, is also able to perform this task. In order to do so, this lizard behaves ...

Desert lizards use body oscillations to dive into sand (Update)

In the desert, the sand surface can become extremely hot during the day, up to 70ºC. In order to escape these temperatures, some desert lizards adopt a fascinating strategy: They dive a few centimeters under the sand surface ...

A new type of convection is proven in granular gases

In physics, thermal convection of a fluid is exhibited by the appearance of geometric structures through which the fluid moves, forming closed circuits. This phenomenon is of vital importance for many industrial applications ...

Computer graphics: Less computing time for sand

Computer graphics today can produce amazingly photorealistic images. Many motives, however, require very long computation times. Researchers of KIT, Disney Research, Zurich, and Cornell University have now developed a process, ...

Hydrodynamics approaches to granular matter

Sand, rocks, grains, salt or sugar are what physicists call granular media. A better understanding of granular media is important - particularly when mixed with water and air, as it forms the foundations of houses and off-shore ...

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