Photo credit: Derek Richardson /

Research scientist Dan Durda basically wanted to verify the mechanics of space rock collisions. So, he decided to smash giant granite balls together using 40-foot cranes. Video after the break. Click here for more pictures.

When small rocks collide, they bounce off each other like billiard balls, and physicists use mathematical models to extrapolate this rebound property to larger scales, which can help them study asteroids and planet formation processes.

[via PopSci]