Walk on (cornstarch and) water

Wednesday 7 February 2007This is more than 16 years old. Be careful.

I saw this video a few weeks back, linked from a post (since lost) about counter-intuitive materials: A pool filled with non-newtonian liquid. The mixture of cornstarch and water is a liquid, until a strong force is applied to it, at which point it acts like a solid. The result is that a pool filled with this slurry can be walked across if you keep moving briskly. Pause for a moment, and you sink.


Ha! I usually read this blog and was very surprised to see this! I'm from Spain and the video is taken from a TV program called "El Hormiguero" in which, apart from interviews, jokes and such, they do fun experiments like this one, which is really amazing...
We always called it "Oobleck" after the Dr. Seuss story, but I've never seen quite so much all in one place; you can take scoops of it and throw it at a wall (or the fridge, that's easier to clean :-) and watch it shatter, and then ooze down.

There's a modern form using specially shaped nano-particles instead of starch that's got interesting applications in body armor, too.

That's amazing. It makes me want to fill up one of our paddling pools.

I wonder whether the post was this from NewScientist:
Yes, Bernard, that was the page! Thanks for bringing it back from the vortex for me...

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