sand billowing as air flows
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Fluid sand helps snake study

In a laboratory where physicists study how snakes move, a special tank turns sand to fluid.

The researchers use the system to "reset" the sand in a highly controlled way, in between experiments where the snakes are filmed in high-speed video.

A blower blasts air upwards through the sand via a mesh of tiny holes, allowing the team to choose how densely packed they want their artificial "dune".

This video shows the tank in action, with an explanation from Georgia Tech graduate student Perrin Schiebel.

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  • 10 Mar 2016