The development of processed cold cereal made breakfast a lot easier for Americans on the go, and gave us plenty of late-night snacks, too. Grain extrusion can put your morning corn and oats into pretty much any shape you can imagine. But while most of us just read the box while eating, some physicists pondered the properties of those shapes and came up with ways to explain physics to us by using breakfast cereal as an example we can understand. Or if we don’t, at least other physicists can.
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Have you ever heard of the Cheerios Effect? The derivatives of position named snap, crackle, and pop? That time physicists compared the compression properties of Cocoa Puffs vs. Rice Krispies? Cereal has been a toy for physics experiments for some time. You can read about four ways cereal has advanced the science and the teaching of physics at Cracked.
(Image credit: Armando Olivo Martín del Campo)