Spontaneous Separation of Charged Grains Feature Summary

Type:
Physics in Your World
Title:
Spontaneous Separation of Charged Grains
Description:
These red and blue sand grains are mixed together--for now. Click the image to see what happens next. These differently colored sand grains aren't being sorted with any outside help, they're sorting themselves by charge. Find out why at Spontaneous Separation of Charged Grains.

Check out this Physics Central article to explore granular materials further. Don't miss the video on the research page of the standing wave made by shaken particles.
Image:
image credit: Troy Shinbrot, courtesy of the American Institute of Physics; <a href="http://www.aip.org/png/2007/282.htm" target="_blank">image source</a>; <a href="http://www.physicstogo.org/images/features/red-blue-sand-large-9-15-09.gif" target="_blank">larger image</a>
image credit: Troy Shinbrot, courtesy of the American Institute of Physics; image source; larger image
Image URL:
http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/red-blue-sand-large-9-15-09.gif
Featured:
September 16, 2009 - October 1, 2009