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CLIP 13431

Can I escape from quicksand?

Can I escape from quicksand?

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Key Info
  • Can I escape from quicksand?
  • Duration: 5:03
  • Presenter Greg Foot investigates quicksand and discovers why it's so dangerous. Practical experiments show that quicksand is a non-Newtonian fluid that can behave as both a solid and a liquid. The reasons why quicksand can be so difficult to escape from are explored, looking at the forces involved in trying to escape. The scientist then explains that it is impossible to drown in quicksand because when the person is submerged to waist level, they float. The greatest danger lies in being drowned by the sea when the tide comes in. Finally a method that can be used to escape from quicksand is described and explained. First broadcast on BBC Learning Zone and BBC3 in March 2012 as part of the series The Secrets of Everything.
  • Subject:



    Phys: Forces - Contact and Non-contact

  • Keywords: quicksand, non-Newtonian fluid, liquid, solid, pressure, power, force, energy, dense, float, TheSecretsofEverything
Ideas for use in class
  • When discussing solids and liquids and changes of state e.g. students perform experiments on changes of state of water from ice to liquid water to vapour. When discussing forces e.g. students use bathroom scales calibrated in Nm to see how much force they can exert and then compare that to the forces needed to escape from quicksand. When discussing density, floating, sinking and Archimedes e.g. students measure volume, mass and changes in density when floating. Students could then investigate the use on the ‘plimsoll line’ on ships. When discussing the relationships between energy, pressure, forces and power. Cross curricular links – The history of famous scientists i.e. Archimedes and Plimsoll. Contains examples of ‘How Science Works’.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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