A bird does not go to any old, dry branches to build its nest, but always looks for materials with which it can build a strong and stable nest! "It's pretty confusing to me," says Hunter King, a physicist at the University of Akron in Ohio. Bird's nest is a special type of granular material that is made up of smaller materials (such as sand). In doing so, King and his colleagues used a combination of computer experiments and simulations to better understand the properties of granular materials in nest construction; You can read the results of this study in more detail in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Birds choose the right nesting material without testing!

In one study, a piston repeatedly squeezed 460 bamboo sticks placed inside a cylinder. At the same time, by performing computer simulations, the researchers were able to analyze the contact points of bamboo sticks during the application of pressure. It is interesting to know that the analysis of these points is key to understanding the properties of materials.

Nest compression test: Researchers study the mechanical behavior of a random batch of short bamboo sticks trapped in a container. These sticks are compressed by a piston (left) and the experimental results are compared with computer simulations for the same system (right). , Meaning that they will be more resistant to deformation. As the piston comes out, the bamboo sticks slide over each other and the points of contact between them change and take on a new shape. Simulations show that the stiffness of this mass is achieved by increasing the contact points between bamboo sticks, and further prevents them from bending further.

The role of hysteresis in experiments

According to the phenomenon Hysteresis, which is also affected by these experiments, causes changes in the stiffness of the bamboo mass to be slower than the movement of the piston. Thus, in spite of such a phenomenon, the bamboo mass will be stiffer when pushed inwards than when the material is pushed back by the return of the piston. In this process, the simulations show that the hysteresis is due to the fact that the initial friction between the bamboos must be resolved before resetting the contact points.

Simply put, the phenomenon of hysteresis means a delay between input and output. A system is due to a change of direction. Beyond the discussion of bird nests, this research can also be applied to other materials with a disordered arrangement of long fibers, such as felt. In fact, by better understanding the physical properties of such materials, engineers can use them to create new structures that protect not only bird eggs but also other things that are valuable to humans.

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