Regularities in the formation of the mysterious "Giant's Causeway" (Giant's Causeway), intriguing attractions of northern Ireland, uncovered by researchers from the University of Toronto (University of Toronto).
Hexagonal stone columns that form the Giant's Causeway, is perhaps the most famous example of an unusual-looking structure generated by the cooled lava. Although education is very similar in other parts of the World. In this case, these columns vary greatly in size (from centimeters to meters in diameter) and sometimes differ in the number of faces. Canadian physicists have decided to find patterns in the structure of such systems.
For a start, scientists have visited the Giant's Causeway, and in several other places with the same scenery, and carefully measured the geometric parameters of the polygons. And then they decided, as long as the process of cracking the cooling lava in physics similar to the cracking of the drying ground, or paint and a few other similar processes that happened once on the Road of the Giants can try vocproizvesti in the laboratory.
Legend has it that this "road" built hero Fionn Mac Koeman. Of course, geophysicists long been known that, in fact before us traces of an ancient volcano. Yet the details of this process are not fully understood
This stocked experimenters heating lamp capacity with water and cornstarch. During heating and drying the mixture forms cracks and long columns, pillars resembling the appearance of Giant's Causeway.
Varying the heating to dry starch, scientists have dependence circulated by them and to communicate the size of basalt columns at a rate of cooling lava, which is then checked by data "from the field".
The overall pattern, say scientists from Toronto, is the following: the slower the lava cools, the larger the poles are obtained.
The authors of the study (the details can be found in a university news release) claim that they have found a coefficient relating the cooling rate (or dry) can predict the size of the cells and in other similar processes, such as drying or cracking of the crust of dirt layer of permafrost.