Cross-sectional view of an impact crater of diameter D formed by a falling sphere of diameter d that loses kinetic energy E during the impact. Here, g is the gravitational field strength and ρ is the granular material density.
Impact crater images. An experimental crater in playground sand with a diameter of 5.7 cm (top) and the Barringer Meteor Crater in northern Arizona with a diameter of 1.2 km (bottom, credit: U.S. Geological Survey/photo by D. Roddy). 11
Experimental crater-diameter results in the dimensionless form of Eq. (1) . The solid line has a slope of 1/4. Representative error bars are shown for the measurement with the largest value of D/d. Reference results for the Barringer Meteor Crater (more than 16 orders of magnitude greater impact energy) are shown at the upper right.
Characteristics of the spheres used in the impact experiments.
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