Former NASA engineer Mark Rober has found a way to make science just as (if not more) entertaining as Bill Nye did – by making sand behave like water. Not only did he document the entire process, he even filled his hot tub to have fun with it, and explained everything in an easily understandable and humorous manner along the way.
In his entertaining video, Mark explores what is known as fluidized beds, “a physical phenomenon occurring when a quantity of a solid particulate substance is placed under appropriate conditions to cause a solid/fluid mixture to behave as a fluid.” To make sand ripple and bubble like it’s a liquid, Mark used air. Basically, by blowing air into the bottom of a container of sand, he increased the space between individual sand particles, reducing internal friction and allowing the particles to move around more freely, the way they would in a liquid.
“I’ve wanted to build one for a long time,” Mark explains in his video. “But you can find literally NO information online on how to make one like that. So I started combing through a bunch of patent drawings for massive industrial-sized fluid beds, and I noticed that instead of one big inlet, they all had a bunch of small holes to deliver air.”
Starting with that in mind, it still took him 25 failed versions before arriving at his first working design. Watch the video below to see how everything unfolded and let us know in the comments if you’d like to dive in a tub of ‘fluidized sand’ yourself!