High-speed video of projectiles slamming into a bed of disks provides a new microscopic picture of how a meteorite or missile transfers the energy of its impact to sand and dirt grains.
The transfer is jerky, not smooth. “It was surprising just how unsmooth the slow-down of the intruding object was,” says Duke University physicist Robert Behringer.
The research may change the way scientists model meteorite and missile impacts and their effects.
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Photo credit: NASA