Usually, physics research starts with a known problem. There are surprises, of course, but they don’t often come from Internet videos, as happened with the case of the mysterious chain fountain.
It started with Steve Mould, a host of science television shows in Britain. Mr. Mould, who has a master’s degree in physics from Oxford, seems to be the discoverer of the chain fountain, which he demonstrated in a startling video posted online. In it, he pulls one end of a long chain of metal beads out of a glass container. Once he starts it off, the bead chain continues spilling out of the container on its own, like water or gasoline being siphoned from a tank. Read more.