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Avalanche

It's the poetry of motion

Avalanches—or flows of granular material—offer stunning examples of how forces such as friction and gravity can act on an object, affecting its motion. Watch patterns of cascading granules change as you adjust the speed of the rotating Avalanche Disk. Find the right angle and velocity needed to launch a tennis ball projectile into a net across the exhibit hall. Repeat Leonardo da Vinci's friction studies for yourself, conduct Galileo's inclined plane experiment, and observe the fascinating "Brazil nut effect."

Featured Exhibits

Spin this eight-ton disk of granules to watch solid matter defy expectations.

It shows signs of stress… so that scientists can study the distribution of forces in granular materials.

Create collisions in this row of nine-inch spheres to put Newton's laws in motion.

Adjust your angle and set your speed before launching a tennis ball projectile.