Published in ScienceNOW, 25 May 2012
It might strike you as an office experiment devised in boredom: piling up staples and seeing how long it takes for them to collapse. But the researchers behind the investigation are serious, and they think it could help explain how “entangled ensembles” benefit the animal kingdom. The team created a mound of staples by pouring them into a cylinder roughly the size of an espresso mug. After removing the cylinder, they subjected the staples to fast, 30-Hertz vibrations on a device technically known as a shaker and measured how long it took for the mound to collapse. [...]
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