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Can water solve a maze?

  • Published on Mar 30, 2023 veröffentlicht
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Comments • 4 414

  • Steve Mould
    Steve Mould  2 months ago +1621

    This video explains why I had a blue splodge on my face in the last video!
    The sponsor is 80,000 hours. Head to 80000hours.org/steve to start planning a career that is meaningful, fulfilling, and helps solve one of the world’s most pressing problems.

    • Matteo Clementel
      Matteo Clementel 2 months ago +8

      Awesome Steve :)

    • j p
      j p 2 months ago +7

      Nah. I’m good. Thanks tho

    • LokiFrog
      LokiFrog 2 months ago +4

      If you put small holes in the clear acrylic at the "top" of dead end pockets that are sealed it might cause the water to go more places. presumably more water would go down then out of the holes because gravity should still be stronger.

    • BeeKeeper
      BeeKeeper 2 months ago +1


    • Gsup7s
      Gsup7s 2 months ago +4

      Well you know Mercury has a pretty low pressure before boiling. Or you could try making a super fluid. That's always fun.

  • ElectroBOOM
    ElectroBOOM 2 months ago +20324

    You know what I think can solve the puzzle flowing through the main path right away?? Smoke! Pushing smoke into the puzzle, it will flow through the path of least resistance from the start

    • Kaleb Peters
      Kaleb Peters 2 months ago +2203

      Yeah! And as a bonus it can solve mazes where the exit is above the entrance

    • aande's channel
      aande's channel 2 months ago +843

      My guess would be though, that smoke would fill much more of the maze over time, because it doesn't have the surface tension of water.

    • Fred
      Fred 2 months ago +494

      Yes, that is almost the same as at 6:36 where the pre-filled maze is fed with different colored water. If the air pockets were also pre-filled with water, then it would be exactly the same.

    • Mileyard Gigahertz
      Mileyard Gigahertz 2 months ago +284

      @Fred Nice observation. And of course ElectroBOOM would suggest smoke, a product of explosions😂

    • DukeGarland
      DukeGarland 2 months ago +146

      Infinity electricity kinda solves a maze in real life all the time - that's how the lightnings get their shapes

    I_AM_AWESOME_j Month ago +1979

    the fact that a maze is two separate pieces blew my mind more than the water maze. It makes perfect sense but I have never thought of that!

    • Stephen
      Stephen Month ago +73

      100% lol, same here! I never thought of that and I STILL can't wrap my head around *WHY* that is, lol

    • Sage of PHY6 Paths
      Sage of PHY6 Paths Month ago +4


    • Ega x Wandering
      Ega x Wandering Month ago +13

      I'm confused why it has to be two pieces?

    • Ega x Wandering
      Ega x Wandering Month ago +89

      Oh, right, because one of them never touches the other.

    • SajtosNokedli
      SajtosNokedli Month ago +18

      It can be made of 3 pieces or 4 pieces or 5 pieces

  • u9?
    u9? 2 months ago +1819

    Directly to the experiments in less than 1 minute, now this is the channel that deserves to be popular.

    • Jarrod Braun
      Jarrod Braun 2 months ago +54

      Legitimately almost didn't click because I didn't want to sit through 8 minutes of "hype" for an underwhelming reveal at the end of the video.
      This was not that, and I was pleasantly surprised

    • Eft
      Eft Month ago +9

      i mean it kinda is, not everyone has 2m subs

    • unknown
      unknown  Month ago +1

      its just straight to the damn point

    • DanX
      DanX Month ago

      Yeah just forward the video 9 waste of time minutes

    • SeaKay
      SeaKay Month ago

      @DanX yeah!! this video is so cool!

  • TheFinalRevelation
    TheFinalRevelation 6 days ago +2

    Someone should make a free demo and share or code for a 3d simulation, this could be in unity or unreal or something like that.

  • sthenzel
    sthenzel Month ago +309

    The "keep your right hand on a wall" always works, IF you start doing so from the entrance!
    A maze may have two or more paths to the exit and therefore has more than two wall structures, but it will always have just two outside ones.

    • André Hil
      André Hil Month ago +1

      I thought the same thing!

    • The Hunters
      The Hunters Month ago +14

      Actually it doesn’t work at all if there are any floating walls in the maze, as in walls that don’t connect to the outside. Left or right wall doesn’t matter. Sometimes the floating wall is obvious and sometimes it’s not. Oh, and it only works if you can touch the outside wall directly from the entrance.

    • sthenzel
      sthenzel Month ago +24

      @The Hunters At the entrance there is always an outside wall! It may be part of a 'floating' wall, yes, but then there´s more than one entrance. In that case, switch the same hand to the other wall of the newfound entrance.

    • The Hunters
      The Hunters Month ago +2

      @sthenzel I know. Just expanding on the conversation because that’s what I like to do.

    • Christopher Wellman
      Christopher Wellman Month ago

      I've always wanted to map the Paris Catacombs by spray painting a white line along the right wall.

  • lqr824
    lqr824 Month ago +268

    5:28 Even in a multiply-connected maze (one with multiple successful paths), you can be sure that the walls of the ENTRYWAY will be the walls of the exit, as long as the entry and exit are on the outside border of the maze. I didn't realize that until you showed your "coloring the walls" at 2:50 then mentioned that two paths would create a middle part. That middle part won't be the left or right wall of the entrance, but would necessarily be an "island" in the middle. The interesting thing is that you can't just wander around and decide later to use this algorithm: you need to commit to it at the very entrance to the maze. And, it only works if the exit is also on an external wall, not say a stairs in the middle of the level, or say a goal or treasure of some kind not adjacent to an exterior wall.

    • Pwhnckexstflajizdryvombqug
      Pwhnckexstflajizdryvombqug Month ago +6

      This doesn't work in 3d mazes (multi-level)

    • TCXD11
      TCXD11 Month ago +1

      Though generally not a problem, if you're starting from the middle of a maze (e.g. you're blindfolded and carried to the starting point, or you forgot to use the strategy until later), then there'd be no guarantee.

    • lqr824
      lqr824 Month ago +3

      @TCXD11 I explained that in detail.

    • TCXD11
      TCXD11 Month ago +2

      @lqr824 yeah, I reread that more clearly after I already posted the reply, but oh well.

  • Mike Fochtman
    Mike Fochtman 2 months ago +6857

    Regarding surface tension, try solving the smaller maze with 'wetter' water. Reduce the surface tension of water by dissolving some alcohol in it. :) Might be interesting with different fluids as well.

    • Yozo
      Yozo 2 months ago +204


    • Steve Mould
      Steve Mould  2 months ago +3288

      Or pure alcohol, or add soap. Great idea!

    • Eric Moss
      Eric Moss 2 months ago +534

      @Steve Mould Or superfluid helium-4! 😂

    • David Ellison
      David Ellison 2 months ago +65

      I saw soap bubbles in your red/blue section so assume you used a detergent or other surfactant.

    • Kram1032
      Kram1032 2 months ago +168

      @Eric Moss omg, superfluid helium would be an amazing test as it also can crawl *up* - it'd presumably solve the maze pretty much exactly by the keep-hand-on-wall method.
      That said, if water was already a difficult thing to seal against, helium manages to be nigh impossible lol

  • Magrior
    Magrior 2 months ago +77

    Definitely one of these concepts that I never would've thought about on my own but are really interesting if someone brings them up.
    If you wouldn't mind the mess, you could maybe drill small holes near the top of the "air chambers", so the water could push the air out of the maze and get closer to bergman's simulation?

    • Nico#
      Nico# Month ago +6

      and connect them to tubes pointing upwards so the pressure would equilibrate and you don't have blue liquid everywhere :)

    • Арсений Федоров
      Арсений Федоров 29 days ago

      I think, that mercury could solve this problem

    • 2bFrank
      2bFrank 3 days ago

      ​@Nico# this is the solution. Just need the tubes to reach higher than the top tank and you'll have no problem with water escaping that way.

  • Chaz Hani-Okoroafor
    Chaz Hani-Okoroafor Month ago +72

    I really think you should look into getting the big versions of the mazes into a gallery. They are really beautiful art pieces against that white background. The blue liquid is really radiant

  • Derek Hayes
    Derek Hayes 2 months ago +29

    Hi, great video, I love the mazes! I have a different hypothesis for why the water doesn't fully drain from the reservoir though (5:50), I believe it is likely that the maze is essentially creating numerous "P" traps that causes air bubbles between the different sections. After all the P traps are full, new water would have to compress the air in the bubbles to make room for the new incoming water, causing the resistance. Though if you added enough water pressure to push the air bubbles all the way through I bet you would get some proper syphon action!

    • Jake Aston
      Jake Aston 2 months ago +2

      yep, heaps of airlocks
      you get them all the time in caravan grey water pipes

    • Jake Aston
      Jake Aston 2 months ago

      just like this video

    • beeble2003
      beeble2003 14 days ago

      Yes, it can't be surface tension because, although he points at lots of places where surface tension happens, the water flow is stopped by the first one of those places, so the rest of the surface tension sites are irrelevant.

  • Chitus
    Chitus Month ago +43

    This is fascinating, really nice work on constructing the mazes too.

  • Jack
    Jack 2 months ago +11

    You could try substituting the water with some type sort of oil used in vacuum pumps to test the maze under a vacuum. The oil shouldn't be too hard to get your hands on and they all have very low vapour pressures

  • Thomas Schmidt
    Thomas Schmidt 2 months ago +1943

    Realizing every maze has two halves was a surprising revelation I didn’t expect.

    • Elliott
      Elliott 2 months ago +78

      Certain types of mazes*

    • Elliott
      Elliott 2 months ago +42

      Notice there are no loops in these?

    • Elliott
      Elliott 2 months ago +41

      It's actually pretty obvious when you consider a solution must exist and there are no islands

    • thewiseturtle
      thewiseturtle 2 months ago +67

      AT LEAST two (separate) parts. Not two parts. Many mazes have many separate disconnected walls. (There's no requirement for only having one possible solution in a maze.)

    • Skyl3t0n
      Skyl3t0n 2 months ago +3

      @Elliott That would make it 3 parts.

    PHOON DA YUAN Moe 2 months ago +15

    Every now and then I find videos like these that are on more of the complicated side of things and they really intrigue me. It just scratches the right spot on my brain to keep watching

  • Lazy DK
    Lazy DK Month ago +5

    Regarding the 2 paths leasing to 3 walls you can 'hug'. It still works holding the hand on a wall, if you do so when you enter the maze. The 3rd middle part that loops wont be one of the walls at the entrance. So unless walls are shifting its a pretty safe approach

  • Dr Basil
    Dr Basil Month ago +2

    As a physicist, I must say that it looks oddly satisfying (and accurate). This is the first time I see this channel btw. Immediate subscription activated 😌

  • James Scholes
    James Scholes 2 months ago +23

    Possibly beyond the abilities of your laser cutter, but if you could make a membrane with holes which were small enough to let through air but not water you might be able to recreate the BergmanJoe maze that way. Lots of "air escape hatches"

    • GandalfsBeard
      GandalfsBeard Month ago +3

      Or one could "lay down" the maze and leave the top open. All you'd need to make water flow in with some urgency is an upward slope (a funnel or an angled tube for example) at the entrance. One could also make a small ceiling (or height gate) at the entrance limting the height the water will reach, in order to avoid splashover. This may be less difficult to execute than laser cutting a membrane

  • ItzFraggle
    ItzFraggle 4 days ago

    This is actually very similar to how valve bodies work in automatic transmissions. Great stuff!

  • Bill Blair
    Bill Blair 2 months ago +1187

    I had never thought of a maze being in two halves - and yet it's so obvious when you think about it! Steve is like the Johnny Ball of the digital age 🙂

    • David Guild
      David Guild 2 months ago +64

      Not only that, but the solution is exactly the path between the two halves. (I think. Proving this is left as an exercise for the reader.)

    • Bill Blair
      Bill Blair 2 months ago +17

      @David Guild Yea! I got that once I got that it was in two halves - just never thought of either of those things until I watched this! I love the way his videos make you look at everyday things in a new way 🙂

    • Lone Starr
      Lone Starr 2 months ago +54

      It's for the same reason why there can't be any two-dimensional beings. Their digestive system would just cut them in half.

    • Jose Alcérreca
      Jose Alcérreca 2 months ago

      @Lone Starr What about the top of the head? 🤔

  • XvoseEthereal
    XvoseEthereal Month ago

    This is amazing. You could hypothetically have a huge containment of water with multiple maze plugs of different tensions to simulate different distributions instead of larger or smaller ducts

  • Rhythm Treble
    Rhythm Treble Month ago

    I had a feeling it would be surface tension being too strong for the water to overcome it. You present your paradoxes and caviats in such a good manner its more like an assist than me just knowing it

  • Adrian Albinni
    Adrian Albinni 22 days ago +1

    The water in the tank came to a halt like a car going uphill with its engine’s torque just short of power. The water in the maze needed more weight pushing down so it could push up all those nooks and crannies and fight against gravity and surface tension alike. Truly fascinating. :)

  • daWizardFrodo
    daWizardFrodo 2 months ago +11

    6:00 not only just surface tension but as you said earlier for the small mazes, air pressure. The first lip looks impossible if no air prevents the water from moving. All the little pockets of air that you see have formed along the correct path (unlike the incorrect path in the small model, although there is still some of that) to help hold up that massive head of water.

    • Kawka Zlodem
      Kawka Zlodem Month ago +2

      You're right, I would even say that it's pretty much only about pressure, surface tension has very little impact here.
      Pressure difference is nicely visible in the little siphon in the top right corner - free water surface is much lower on the right side than on the left which means that air pressure on the right is higher. And you can see why - because the air on the right is sealed off while that on the left can still escape (that happens in 5:30).
      You can also nicely see how the air pressure grows in the whole sealed right part of the maze. In about 5:15 the right part is sealed off and then water goes further up to top left corner of the maze (reached at about 5:27) on the left side of that seal, and you can see how the free water surface on the right side also moves up but much less, just enough to reduce volume and increase pressure of the air trapped there so that it equalizes growing hydrostatic pressure of water column on the left.
      Also, as the water stops flowing, the difference in height between tank above maze and surface on the other side of first siphon and that of to two sides of that column of water dividing right and left side are visibly similar (not exactly the same, because there are other siphons with uneven pressure on both sides).

  • Hunting
    Hunting Month ago +1

    I cant believe how many things I learned from this. I was not expecting this much from a "pouring water in maze" video! 😃

  • My magnificent self
    My magnificent self Month ago +2

    what a cool way to do science! i have to say that ive never thought about weather water could solve a maze but i was not expecting the results you came up with. a-maze-ing!

  • David B
    David B Month ago +1

    I have wondered about this for a long time. Wondered but never quite sure if I could build it. Thank you for building and showing it.
    For the surface tension try adding soap.

  • Static Builds
    Static Builds Month ago +4

    This shows the difference between physical and digital simulations. In digital there is always something overlooked like the ire pressure in this situation which is why its always important to test the digital one on a small scale first.

    • Freakazoid!
      Freakazoid! Month ago

      It's interesting that lots of times when I'm reading good info on using a simulation or simulator of/for something it's recommended to do the real thing along with a simulator.
      I have peripherals for simulator games but should probably get rid of them because I don't access to the real world counterpart to get the most out of the simulation.

  • __
    __ 2 months ago +325

    That last part is so interesting. Blue water has figured out the maze and now the red water can go directly to the end with virtually no loss

    • Jan Bam
      Jan Bam 2 months ago +7

      I wonder if there's some kind of force(?) flowing upstream from the end to the start??

    • Lone Starr
      Lone Starr 2 months ago +39

      @Jan Bam A negative pressure difference, basically. Like pulling water through a drinking straw.

    • w花b
      w花b 2 months ago +4

      If it was a human sized maze maybe we could follow the current and also get out

    • First Last
      First Last 2 months ago +26

      The blue water is basically doing the same thing that the air did in the smaller maze. It's blocking the "wrong" paths, and instead of surface tension, there's just the boundary between two liquids of the same density - they're not going to mix very much at all in such a small time frame, so it's basically just a question of whether the blue water has anywhere to go when the red water pushes against it.

    • unfa🇺🇦
      unfa🇺🇦 2 months ago +11

      That's because the 1st pass water has blocked off all the dead ends, making it so any pressure can only be relieved directly towards the exit.

  • lance862
    lance862 Month ago

    As someone who's explored a lot of computer game maps I will say the idea of putting your left hand on the wall and trying to just follow it almost always works but you can end up with geometries where it has you always avoiding the turn that you need to take so if you do that approach can you find yourself circling back to where you started switch to the other wall.

  • Mason
    Mason Month ago +1

    It's funny watching this as a software engineer because a lot of these different algorithms are used in machine learning. For instance the large simple maze takes the path that "takes you lower" and is actually a searching algorithm called depth first search used to find an end goal state.

  • MaqAv
    MaqAv Month ago +2

    very interesting, I'm glad I got here. I have a question: regardless of the erratic movement, there seems to be a pattern, however what would happen if the entrance/exit of the maze was at the left/right sides?

  • bocoy noiu
    bocoy noiu Month ago

    I like your videos, because of the way you present things. It's like the way I do things in my head. I love puzzles and mazes. Have you tried using a 3d printer to make the things

  • Kwaq84
    Kwaq84 2 months ago +920

    There are couple of important things this experiment shows, especially when dye is added. It shows what happens when there are unused lines in water delivery piping (like for example building hydrants sharing same line with tap water). It can become breeding ground for bacterias, eg. Legionella, despite water moving, and that's why it's important to use backflow prevention valves.

    • Knug Lidi
      Knug Lidi 2 months ago +52

      'water age' is indeed a critical factor in delivery quality water. This is why municipalities and other agencies controlling water supply model and test for water age as part of the design of new expansions to an existing system. Areas of known longer ages, are regularly flushed. Additionally, modifications to the distribution system can help eliminate these regions. one tool in this fight is preventing a dendritic (tree-root) branching of the system. By carefully utilizing loops and and multiple paths, it is possible to significantly reduce water age.

    • Kaitlyn L
      Kaitlyn L 2 months ago +19

      This is also why I always run the tap until the water is genuinely cold, to ensure it’s not been sitting around for who knows how long in the building or the street. Sometimes it happens quickly when there must be high turnover but sometimes it takes a few minutes.

    • Knug Lidi
      Knug Lidi 2 months ago +10

      @Kaitlyn L Temperature isn't a bad guide, although the 'new' water from the street (which is buried, so likely cooler) will have to cool your warmer piping down, so once you feel the temp start to drop, you've likely got 'fresher' street water at the tap

    • karol306
      karol306 2 months ago +11

      That's why I don't trust the campaigns that say that water treatment is so good that you can drink straight from the tap. I do believe that the water from the treatment plant is great, but there's no way I trust those pipes between them and my flat, not to mention those in the building itself.

    • Knug Lidi
      Knug Lidi 2 months ago +34

      @karol306 I'm sorry that you distrust your water distribution system. I would suggest you sample your own water from your own tap and have it tested (at your own cost) against your national drinking water standards at a private, independent lab for your own peace of mind. If, in the unlikely event that your water falls outside of the national standards, your local distribution maintaining agency will be VERY interested in your results.

  • Anup nc
    Anup nc Month ago +1

    Great job Steve... I see all your videos.... And you explain a complex concept in easy way..... ❤️❤️

  • Nissan Karki
    Nissan Karki 2 months ago +5

    I love how straightforward the video was. Thank you for getting right to the point and not wandering around.

  • DjSunexx
    DjSunexx 9 days ago

    Getting stuck in a three part maze with my hand on the wrong side without knowing it is a new fear you just unlocked in me. Thanks for that lol.

  • Burnt_Alive
    Burnt_Alive Month ago

    This is pretty awesome, I now want to build something similar to mount on the wall in my shop/office as a water feature.

  • SciTech Vault
    SciTech Vault Month ago

    You are an amazing scientist and a top-class educator.

  • David Ellison
    David Ellison 2 months ago +143

    I loved the solution of cutting slots in the upper acrylic plate to allow the solvent to reach the surfaces you wanted to solvent weld.

    • rofltehcat
      rofltehcat 2 months ago +3

      For the smaller maze, you can just fill a flat metal/ceramic tray with just barely enough solvent to cover the bottom. Then put the maze into it with the side you want to solvent weld. Leave it in there for like 10-30 seconds. Then take it out, and set it onto the panel you want to weld it to. Because the maze is so finicky, I'd still do the first side with the syringe.
      This process works for all kinds of parts and actually tends to give a cleaner, more even, weld. However, since you're using laser-cut pieces you'll have plenty of micro-cracks in them after getting them into contact with solvent (unless you tempered them afterwards), they are probably just hard to see in the black acrylic.
      For large pieces this works too but of course you'd need a pretty large tray (or one custom-made for the job) and a lot of solvent. You also don't need to actually submerge the pieces, just lowering them until the solvent pulls itself onto the welding surface is actually better (because it only coats the surface and because the solvent doesn't get squeezed out) but a bit finicky, you might be able to put some uncoated steel wires into it as an offset.
      Source: Sometimes do this at work, but for most pieces the syringe method works just fine.

  • foxpup
    foxpup 2 months ago +1

    If you "print"/etch a maze pattern on a circuit board and apply electrodes to the exit points and run electricity through it and look at it with a FLIR infrared scope you should see a solution too with the right settings. :-) (provided the the travel path is where the metal film remains and the walls are actually voids where the metal has been removed :-) ) The set up should have no trouble solving gigantic complex mazes, as big as the circuit board can be and with small channels down to the printing resolution. 🙂

  • hernanc
    hernanc Month ago

    At 2:38 how about creating grooves that match with the maze and flooding the grooves with solvent? Hope it helps in future videos. Thank you for the video Steve!

  • Jeffris (Suspicious Manifold)

    Oh wow, I hadn't thought of a maze being constructed of two pieces but that makes sense now that I've seen it and given what I remember about graphs. My mind went to bipartite graphs and partitions first, since there are no odd cycles. But then I realized I was overthinking it, there are no cycles at all, it's just a tree in this type of maze. Of course you can partition a tree into two disjoint sets. :)

  • Adam Sharp
    Adam Sharp 2 months ago +1

    Thats so cool to see and a bit hypnotic I could marvel at water flowing for a long time having one of those mazes in a case with colored water cycling through it sounds like a fitting decoration for a high end office I want one it reminds me of my water timer for board games way more fun to use

  • Razer1905 2.0 _
    Razer1905 2.0 _ 16 days ago

    This would be a good physics game type of thing. I could watch this for hours, literal hours.

  • mjw7994
    mjw7994 2 months ago +388

    Regarding using the "hand on one wall" method to go through a multipath maze, as long as you pick a wall right at the entrance then you should still always find your way out. Any extra paths would create a third piece to the maze, but by necessity it would have to be in between the two outer parts which must be the two parts bisected by the entrance and exit.

    • Juniper Berri
      Juniper Berri 2 months ago +27

      I wrote a longer comment about this but also if there are 2 entrances and 2 exits, you must find a path from an entrance to an exit, and the paths between each entrance and the exits connect, there is a chance the wall you follow will lead you on a path between the two entrances instead of to an exit, but that's the only thing I can think of that would defeat the algorithm, barring dropping someone in the middle of the maze instead of starting them at an entrance... or having no paths from the entrance to an exit, obv.

    • DreadLindwyrm
      DreadLindwyrm 2 months ago +23

      @Juniper Berri You can theoretically have traps and one way doors in a real maze, so that you can go through a particular section one way, but not leave through the same area - meaning that you'll get trapped in the section beyond the one way door.
      Or you place the exit in the "middle" part by having a tunnel up or down from one of the rooms that's only accessible through the third part of the maze.

    • Lunali
      Lunali 2 months ago +6

      Another solution I've seen in real world mazes is to have checkpoints in the maze that have to be reached for the maze to be considered complete.

    • Cory Zilligen
      Cory Zilligen 2 months ago +19

      This only works if the starting point is along the outer wall of the maze (which is _generally_ the case, but not necessarily). If you are starting from a random location within the middle of the maze, then you have no way of knowing whether the wall you touch would be connected to the exit or not.

    • Jonah Zurn
      Jonah Zurn 2 months ago +11

      It is also possible for the exit to the maze to be a staircase or ladder or something which is placed within the maze. That would mean that you could follow the outer wall in a complete loop and never find the exit.

  • CM63
    CM63 Month ago

    Good points about the role of atmospheric pressure and surface tension. It should not be very difficult to take this into account in simulations as well.

  • Gabriel Atienza
    Gabriel Atienza 18 days ago

    Videos of the build process would be awsome. Coming up with a question is easy, coming up with an experiment that answers it, is part art, part science.

  • Olina Kin
    Olina Kin 2 months ago

    It would be interesting to see pressure gauges in certain areas

  • Dylan Green
    Dylan Green Month ago

    You could make a liquid calculator for integrals. Might be interesting :)

  • Tommy B
    Tommy B Month ago

    Your tests are great to be used by cave divers, people going deep underground exploring cave systems.
    So that in case of storms outside and flooding in the caves, they ca use as a model to predict safe places for setting up camps.
    I've seen a story about such a situation of a deep dive and a storm that lasted several days outside leading to huge flooding in the cave.

  • Jon Fehr
    Jon Fehr 2 months ago +460

    If you wanted to simulate the simulation you could put a small vent hole at the top of each isolated section of the geometry and then just cover/plug the hole once water starts leaking out of the venting hole. That should be easily done in the larger versions and you just need something like flex tape to cover the vents. it won't look as pretty but the physics should work.

    • SilverLining
      SilverLining 2 months ago +54

      Obligatory flex tape meme here

    • 3D_Dean
      3D_Dean 2 months ago +38

      Putting in a air release valve would also work so he could avoid manually covering the holes

    • Roberts Petersons
      Roberts Petersons 2 months ago +26

      Also, by treating every maze surface by a hydrophobic repellent, you could reduce the surface tension friction. Would be fun to see the results and how they compare to the vacuum simulation 🙂

    • Young Gandalf
      Young Gandalf 2 months ago +6

      Wouldn't that be like creating a maze with multiple exits or paths? Not really a maze?

    • CyberWomble
      CyberWomble 2 months ago +26

      @Young Gandalf See them as emergency exits and hang little "no exit, staff only" signs on them. The air can be considered staff.

  • wren
    wren Month ago +9

    I think in order to make Joe's simulation, you could use fill the entire system with a fluid, then use another fluid with similar density that will not mix. Sort of like water and oil, but not quite, since oil is less dense than water. (i dont know of any more hydrophobic fluids haha)

    • TCXD11
      TCXD11 Month ago +1

      @D S The comment mentioned *similar* density. Air is much less dense compared to water.
      Though, I don't know of any fluids of similar density that wouldn't mix either.

    • D S
      D S Month ago

      @TCXD11 Yup, I missed that. Thanks. Surface tension and viscosity would play a role too. I'd like to see 99% iso in this test actually. I wonder if it could hold the air pockets.

  • Treblaine
    Treblaine Month ago

    I think the realization that every maze is essentially two parts and the shortest-route-to-exit is always the point where the two halves meet is - itself - a solution were you ever actually inside a maze. All you'd need is some way to tell which wall was attached to one side of the maze and which wall is attached to the other side. Perhaps if the walls were conductive and were insulated by the ground/ceiling you could run a wire between each to know when you closed the circuit so know you've gone the wrong way.

  • lujayn3
    lujayn3 Month ago

    I would have liked to see the maze in a horizontal position too because I think it would allow the air in those dead end areas to escape so maybe the water would have gone to more areas before exiting

  • mlmenere
    mlmenere Month ago

    Would love to see this inside a vacuum to see if it's closer to the simulated model

  • Charnet3D
    Charnet3D 8 days ago

    I think a circular maze with the exit or treasure (because it's not technically an opening) in the center would be a more interesting challenge as there is no exit for air anymore and water should behave differently in this case.

  • Donald Sayers
    Donald Sayers 2 months ago +270

    With your second complicated, big maze, I don't think it is surface tension but an air lock, the path repeatedly goes up then down so if there is a bubble in each up bit, it requires a minimum head of water to overcome the sum of the uphill parts.

  • Tikkel Bikkel
    Tikkel Bikkel Month ago +16

    What if the Bergman simulation is a bird's eye perspective of a maze with an open top that just being flooded?

    • toml
      toml Month ago +1

      It’s definitely a possibility, but I don’t think water would flow like that naturally. It would fill everything up at once instead of being moved by gravity downwards, and thus it would have to be slanted, but however this would cause it to not fill up the other parts. This is just a hypothesis tho so like it would be interesting to see if I’m correct

    • Austin Anderson
      Austin Anderson Month ago +1

      Alpha Phoenix made a video showing that, it does fill everything but not like the sim

  • James Beard
    James Beard 5 days ago

    This seems like a clearer example on why there are sometimes air pockets in caves and other such areas. Interesting

  • Alex, 5A.
    Alex, 5A. 6 days ago

    Suggestion: try and put the maze flat on its side, so that the air from the air pockets will escape into the exit. This should greatly reduce air pressure, and therefore make the maze work as intended. Have a good amount of water going in as well.

  • hantasy Creations
    hantasy Creations Month ago +1

    Suggestion: AMBITIOUS idea with real life application... the air pockets remind me of the Tham Luang cave rescue, where 13 boys survived a monsoon in a cave system by finding the room with air. I never understood how there was enough air underground until this video. Could there be a way to 3d map cave systems and simulate flooding to find the safest places to survive in such events?

  • Ian Gillespie
    Ian Gillespie 2 months ago +111

    man, you really nailed the lighting on the larger mazes, the contrast of the "walls" is perfect

  • Bryan Gilmore
    Bryan Gilmore 2 months ago

    It’s an air lock, there’s too many areas where- as you said before- have air bubbles that have to travel downward before they can go back up to make way for the water. This takes the momentum and flow of the initial pour and weight of water in the reservoir- at a certain point the momentum and weight of the water gets low enough, that the residual air pockets and pressure neutralize it and it stops flowing.

  • Kyle Miller
    Kyle Miller Month ago

    The two colors of water made me think it could be cool to see that but where the whole maze is completely filled with the first color. If you use a slightly more dense second liquid (salt water?) maybe that might simulate the animation through mixing?

  • Xtermo
    Xtermo 2 months ago

    I think the sim would probably be best recreated if it was possible to fill the maze completely with water first, then fill the top tank with colored water and finally open the exit of the maze, although the flow would probably not be as energetic as in the simulation, having water in its way already. 🤔

  • STthecat
    STthecat 2 months ago +1

    2:14 I like how water can’t solve the harder maze but the air bubbles can

  • Massimo Zanetti
    Massimo Zanetti 2 months ago

    Funny thing about solving mazes with water, it can be easily done also horizontally (you placed the maze vertically and let the water flow from top to bottom). Think maze walls as hills, and corridors as the valleys in between, let the water rain into the maze.... and boom, water will flow out following the perfect solution path. This can be implemented easily on computer progam using the watershed algorithm.

  • LucasFroitzheim
    LucasFroitzheim 2 months ago +603

    I love by the way how you included the animation clip at the beginning but still motivated us to watch the original which supports its creator. Just love it

    • E
      E 2 months ago +1


    • Redfyres ASOIAF
      Redfyres ASOIAF 2 months ago +17

      Also that he wasn't 'shaming' the animation creator (for lack of a better word) for not having realistic graphics but instead said things along the lines of 'he animated something I can't recreate'.

  • Thunderbelch
    Thunderbelch 2 months ago +1

    Lots of cool observations, well done!

  • Cosmic Space
    Cosmic Space Month ago

    It really fits my ocd to see water or any liquid go through any maze I love the video great keep the content up

  • Simon Sajan Kumar
    Simon Sajan Kumar Month ago

    Hey Steve
    Just a thought. What would happen if you put the maze horizontally and “shot” water through the maze? Would the water solve the puzzle differently then?

  • Aser Samak
    Aser Samak 8 days ago

    Have you thought of building a neural network with water? Pipe diameter can represent the connection weight and the activation function can be an overflow mechanism.

  • cj van
    cj van 2 months ago

    An effective way of applying the acrylic solvent to the maze and the second clear sheet would be a very fine layer in a level metal pan. Holding the already applied acrylic side, dip the maze portion into the pan. Immediately lift it up and apply a slide rotational swirl to remove any gathered droplets. Then move the it, still maze down onto the s wall already placed on the ground. A simple corner frame can be built-in utilize to make a quick into make sure it is square. It has to be removed from the thin layer of solvent and place on the other surface quickly without any torque. Light pressure, then give it a few. Largely depending on the solvent use to melt the acrylic, this is a very effective method.

  • Calvin Schubert
    Calvin Schubert 2 months ago +950

    I actually used this once in a dnd campaign. Our DM put us in a huge mirror maze room. Using a combination of a few magic items, I made a torrential downpour of water and we waited a minute before following the flow

    • Niek
      Niek 2 months ago +48

      That’s clever, love it!

    • Shining Darkness
      Shining Darkness 2 months ago +59

      How did you keep it from back-flowing out of the maze? I mean this method only really works because of the verticality of the maze making it so the water cannot simply flow back out of the entrance. You would likely need way more than a minute in order for the water to rise to the point where you could detect a flow is a big room. My solution to DM's throwing mazes at casters is always just fucking blow through it or use divination magic to scout the correct path, ain't nobody got time for that.

    • Seth B
      Seth B 2 months ago +13

      ​@Shining Darkness I play as a ratfolk, so I have an unfair advantage

    • Shining Darkness
      Shining Darkness 2 months ago +2

      @Seth B how so?

    • Niek
      Niek 2 months ago +8

      @Shining Darkness Why wouldn't you exit through the entrance, as long as you get out right?

  • Michael Imbesi
    Michael Imbesi Month ago +1

    It’s not surface tension that’s causing the maze to stop working, it’s vapor lock. The same thing can happen in piping systems when air gets trapped at high points. The air blocks part of the pipe and reduces the area that the liquid has to flow through. This constriction causes head loss and eventually the combined head loss across multiple constrictions becomes so severe that it equals the head pushing the fluid. This means that there isn’t enough pressure to move the fluid and the flow stops.

  • Michel Van Breugel
    Michel Van Breugel 2 months ago

    Regarding the effect of air pockets and surface tension. I think it is possible to minimize the effect of this, by angling the maze forward or backwards. This will reduce the height difference and allow the air pockets to pass the liquid by not utilizing the full channel width and or hight.

  • Blue Collar
    Blue Collar 2 months ago

    I think the key is that you have enough pressure from above to force the water to move against gravity. If you only had enough to navigate the maze and a bit more, it might not force the water all the way through

  • 7cle
    7cle 2 months ago

    I did enjoy this video. Very much. You are clearly now a 80000 hours expert on building acrylic models !

  • macronencer
    macronencer 2 months ago +584

    Love this! Mazes were "my thing" at school. We had exercise books with squared paper in them for maths, and I used to draw mazes all the time, so I became really familiar with a lot of stuff about them. The "stick to one wall" rule is a good window into some of them, as it makes you think about where the entrance and exit might be (could be in the middle), whether it still works with multiple entrances, whether there's a way to use it to escape a maze if you start in a random spot (there are algorithms that can eliminate dead ends as you go, but they require some sort of memory or external modification)...
    A third dimension also stirs things up. The maze at Longleat in England (which was the largest in Europe in the 1980s, not sure whether it still is) has six bridges that go over the hedge paths. This allows you to see some of the connectivity from above, which people imagine might help - but the presence of the bridges also makes the topology more sneaky and the maze harder.
    I LOVE MAZES! Cool to see your construction skills applied to them like this. Excellent video.

    • Chris aka Schulbus
      Chris aka Schulbus 2 months ago +8

      And now you could generate big mazes in minecraft and explore them in virtual reality... yes, the world is crazy like that today.

    • Nikel Sad
      Nikel Sad 2 months ago +1

      @Chris aka Schulbus do you mean a particular mod for mazes?

    • Chris aka Schulbus
      Chris aka Schulbus 2 months ago +6

      @Nikel Sad I made mazes with server plugins a couple years back. There are also "picture to schematic converters". So combining that with a normal image maze generator should also be possible. Particular mods or names i don't have, though.
      I only generate mazes for CNC laser action.

    • MünchhausenMusic
      MünchhausenMusic 2 months ago +1

      Dude, that sounds awesome!! I think one day I'll make this a birthday trip for my ex-girlfriend. She also loves everything logic-related. This christmas I gave her the hardest version of the Perplexus 3D labyrinth, she fucking loved it and tried cracking it for a over a whole day 😊 Have you heard of those? They are more about the motor skill to bring the ball through the maze. The hardest one is actually pretty hard!
      Thanks for the unintended present idea 😉

    • macronencer
      macronencer 2 months ago +1

      @MünchhausenMusic You're welcome! Yes, I think I know the puzzle you're referring to. I don't have one but I think I've tried it once.

  • natsuhiboshi
    natsuhiboshi Month ago

    What a cool video, thank you for making this!

  • Alex
    Alex Month ago

    To this point, a maze that starts at the outside and ends in the center of the maze would only be found if the end was "surface-tension-lower" than the beginning, or maybe you could spin the maze like how you fill up a Klein bottle or something...

  • ninjAa Simen
    ninjAa Simen 9 days ago

    It looks to me you are trying to solve SAT problem :) and this approach is actually realy interesting !

  • Mike
    Mike Month ago

    Drilling small holes in each 'top' corner to allow air to escape may allow you to recreate the behaviour in the simulation more closely, though would need to be quite small to provide sufficient resistance to water flow

  • adam bamf
    adam bamf Month ago

    its a good tool for showing aquifer water behavior it also replicates a concealed aquifer with the tank being a river stream or lake pretty cool

  • Nerfherder42
    Nerfherder42 2 months ago +120

    This video actually made me realize that if you just try to visualize how the maze is in two pieces it becomes easier to solve visually. Pretty cool! I also think it works how a siphon works.

    • howard baxter
      howard baxter 2 months ago +4

      It’s also why if you keep going right, or keep going left, you will always solve the maze. Unless, of course, the maze is broken up into more than 2 parts.

    • howard baxter
      howard baxter 2 months ago +3

      Which, by the way, knowing such information is good for you in emergency situations. If you are ever in a building under evacuation and it is pitch black inside, put your hand up against the wall and follow it. You will eventually reach a door and/or window.

    • Sam
      Sam 2 months ago +4

      @howard baxter Yeah, but it might only be an internal door...

  • ViXoZuDo
    ViXoZuDo 2 months ago

    you should try to do it with the maze almost horizontally like 5° with no top cover and higher walls... Just close the "entrance" so it became a container and should behave more like the simulation since you're removing the "air gap" variable.

  • chase tuttle
    chase tuttle 2 months ago

    I'm curious what would happen if you drilled a hole in the back side of the air pockets to allow the air a path out. This might make a closer representation to the simulation.
    Second, could you try this on a horizontal maze as well?

  • Blake
    Blake 28 days ago

    I would love to see this done with smoke also, possible explain other aspects even more

  • jokerjoker10
    jokerjoker10 Month ago

    If you want to do this maze without the air but with liquid you could use two liquids with different densities. Like Oil and water. You have to fill the maze completely with oil and then fill water in. The water should flow to the lowest point.
    ... i think
    Cheers :D

  • Alberto Fiori
    Alberto Fiori Month ago +1

    at 6:02 you talk about surface tension as a cause for the maze to remain stuck. I think you are not counting the loss of pressure due waterfalls. For example at 6:15 you draw an arrow over "staircase" section, it should be noted that across that section the water does not increase is pressure (assuming the air has neglicible mass). So everytime that water is in free fall it gets to a lower point without increasing in pressure. I count about 27 such drops in the entire path with is about the same height of the water level relative to the exit of the maze

  • T
    T 2 months ago +530

    if you only start using the 'hand on wall'-tactic as a backup plan, after you've already been in the maze for a while a multi-solution one can trap you.
    Doing so from the start will work (for any 2 dimensional maze, where 'out the other side' is the goal. Get to the centerpiece artwork (or staircase to the exit-tunnel), are made out of 1 piece and may loop you back to the entrance )

    • Anna NA
      Anna NA 2 months ago +36

      If you're able to mark the walls in any way at all, if you loop back to the same point on the wall, you are following a center wall that doesn't connect to the entrance or exit. Switch to the wall opposite and follow that one. If necessary, just keep mapping these interior walls until you get to a wall that leads to the entrance or exit. I follow walls all the time in games to fully explore areas and find places I've missed. If you're in a maze in real life and you fear you don't have all the time in the world to walk around--definitely find a way to mark your exploration or break yourself out of there.

    • E
      E 2 months ago +5


    • YaboyNotNut
      YaboyNotNut Month ago

      @E real

  • du ich
    du ich 2 months ago

    beautiful to watch! much more than the simulated version

  • Carde
    Carde Month ago

    It all follows a very logical process, the only thing I had not accounted for personally was the combined surface tension to be enough to halt the flow. I simply predicted a full empty beside the deeper areas or a stop of flow relatively quickly if no air could enter from above.

  • Sean Whitehall
    Sean Whitehall Month ago

    6:15 I think it's also that you have vertical paths with no water now, those are parts with no down pressure push water up the other side.

  • Cavebeast
    Cavebeast 2 months ago

    About the "never get lost in a maze"-thing: It does work all the time, because you choose to go right or left, but you take that choice at the beginning and never stray from it. So there's no way for you to chose to go around the middle part forever, if any actually exists, because you chose one of the other parts at the beginning. The simplest form of that kind of maze would be a room with a pillar in the middle, an entry, and an exit. As you enter, you choose the wall to your right, or the wall to your left, the pillar is completely out of the question.

  • Владислав Быков

    Thank you for the video. I will try to create a small labyrinth on a 3d printer with a transparent petg.
    Perhaps I will try to make a version that will allow air to pass from one of the walls using a 10 micron fabric membrane.

  • GrEll
    GrEll 2 months ago +151

    You've scaled up one of the dimensions of the system without scaling any of the other relevant variables (viscocity, density, simulation time). Neat to see how the system changes from that one input.
    I'd be interested to see this run by scaling all of the relevant variables to keep the system's relevant dimensionless numbers the same (reynolds number, etc). Would make for a great fluid dynamics example. Smarter every day or veritasium did a video on a boat research that talks about this a little
    EDIT: It's veritasium's video at a naval wave generator

  • Jordan MacLoven
    Jordan MacLoven Month ago

    Would using a gas denser than air work more like the video or would it be fairly similar to the water?

  • Michael Sun
    Michael Sun 2 months ago

    The fact that you always has 2 pieces for a working maze means that the topology is a real science.