Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Secret to 'Gravity-Defying' Beads Revealed

If one lays a long chain of beads in a neat pile within a container, pulls an end of the chain and then releases it, the chain will not only flow to the floor due to gravity but also spontaneously arc upward as it moves. 

If one lays a long chain of beads in a neat pile within a container, pulls an end of the chain and then releases it, the chain will not only flow to the floor due to gravity but also spontaneously arc upward as it moves.

A chain of beads can defy gravity, acting like water spouting from a fountain, and now physicists reveal the secret behind this odd phenomenon.

The findings could have surprising implications for everything from tethered satellites to elevators reaching from space to Earth.

Chains are among the simplest, oldest and most widespread of technologies. As such, one might imagine scientists comprehensively understood their behavior. 

However, a recent online video of a chain from the BBC seen by more than 2.5 million viewers astonished many, including many physicists. The video shows a strange effect one can easily recreate at home — if one lays a long chain of beads in a neat pile within a pot, beaker or similar vessel, pulls an end of the chain over the rim of the vessel and then releases it, the chain will not only flow to the floor due to gravity but also spontaneously arc upward as it moves. [See Videos of Weird Phenomenon of Beads Forming a Fountain and Macaroni Fountain]

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/42565-gravity-defying-beads-fountain-explained.html

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