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Published on Feb 4, 2012
Add sand at the center of the grid, and let it relax (abelian sandpile model): each vertex with at least 4 particles gives one to each neighboring vertex. This movie shows the avalanche when the 2546th particle is added: 6062 topplings, grouped in 102 rounds of parallel firings. I used Sage to compute the 102 images, and ffmpeg to collect them into a movie. The number 2456 was selected using Sage, sizes of preceeding avalanches are smaller, and this one increases the diameter of the sandpile from 37 to 39.