Why Do Brazil Nuts Rise To The Top Of The Can?

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Have you ever noticed the phenomenon where you pop open a can of mixed nuts, eager to chow down on cashews or pecans or whatever your favorite nut is, only to be confronted with a top layer of ungainly, chalky Brazil nuts? Guess what – there’s actually a scientific explanation for this. It’s called size segregation in a vibrated granular material, but we can just refer to it as the “Brazil Nut Effect.” In this video from FY Fluid Dynamics, we get an explanation as to why the biggest particles wind up on top when a medium is accelerated enough to overcome the force of gravity. It’s a pretty fascinating way to understand something that plagues us whenever we want a snack. Sure, we can accept that some people do enjoy Brazil nuts, but those people are monsters.