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Motions, Forces, Granular Physics
Experiment with granular materials to explore and compare states of matter. At four experiment consoles, choose from a selection of four containers filled with different types of granular materials. Insert a container into an interactive device that causes it to vibrate, shake or tilt, in order to experiment with how granular materials shear, flow, mix, pack and jam. The exhibit allows you to create and observe the following phenomena:
Rise and Sink
When a mix of large and small granular material is shaken, the larger particles rise to the top. Explore this so-called Brazil Nut Effect and how the size and shape of the grains make a difference.
Mix and Separate
Granular materials containing grains with different sizes and shapes don’t like to mix. Compare different mixtures as they spin.
Jam and Flow
Generate a hypothesis about which properties of a granular material cause grains to jam and flow. To test, place containers on the vibrating device with granular material at the top of an hourglass structure.
Tilt and Flow
Experiment with the angle of maximum stability by tilting containers of granular materials. Collect data and compare how the angle differs with the shape of the grains.
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about the museum
The Museum of Science and Industry opened its doors in 1933 and is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.