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Another Stupid Poll (White Giant)

Simcountry: Simcountry Bulletin Board  Another Stupid Poll (White Giant)

The Shiekh (Fearless Blue)

Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 08:09 pm Click here to edit this post
If you are stacking grains of sand, and asuming grains of sand are roughly spherical and of comparatively even size, then you could balance one grain of sand on:
a triangle of 3 grains, a square of 4 grains, a pentagon of 5 grains, a hexagon of 6 grains, and so on until the central hole in the bottom layer is too large, and the top most grain falls through.

If you are forming the pile of sand on a surface that is not completely flat, say a beach for example, the whole exercise becomes much more complicated. Its not hard to consider the scenario where you have grains of sand on the bottom layer which are effectively almost as high as the next layer up (due to the unevenness of your "floor"). Does this mean that you can have a "flat" layout of grains of sand, only one grain of sand thick, with grains nestling against each other at assorted heights (due to them lying on an uneven surface), and that this flat layout is virtually indistinguishable from a conventional three dimensional pile of sand?

Weird, I think I've just convinced myself that a pile of sand need only be one grain thick.

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