Showing posts from March, 2021

Looking For A General Theory Of Sand ... In Leelanau

"Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore" by Mark Forton Walking along Empire Beach, in the shadow of the dunes, ... I observed a very thin stream of sand flowing down the face of the bluff. Like a tiny flow of water from an open tap. Curiously, the sand immediately around this stream - and as far a I could see, in all directions - was motionless. Not a grain moved outside of the small stream. Such a small, solitary, sand slide. How does this happen? "We don't know.  No one understands how sand works," says Randall Munroe, a New York Time's science writer. Indeed, even the learned ones in the field of physics who study granular materials - known as "soft matter" - are stymied. Because grains of sand have so many different properties - size, shape, weight, roughness, etc., ... There is no formula to reliably predict if, when and how sand will move. It remains a major, unsolved problem in physics, ... And on the beach in Leelanau. I'll keep diggin