University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > BSS Formal Seminars > What keeps sand-castles standing? The physics of wet granular matter

What keeps sand-castles standing? The physics of wet granular matter

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Dry granulates, like the sand that easily runs through the orifice of an hourglass, behave like fluids in many physical aspects. As some liquid is added, however, they transform into a pasty material, from which stable sculptures can be made. It turns out that the physics of this pasty texture, which is a consequence of the wettability of the grains and the liquid interfaces spanning between them, is not as complex as it may seem at first glance. There are certain regularities on the basis of which we can understand, for instance, why the mechanical properties of wet sand are remarkably independent of the liquid content: nobody needs a recipe for building sand castles! The talk tries to elucidate these regularities and dwells on static as well as dynamic aspects of liquid structures in wet granular piles.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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