Walk on (cornstarch and) water

Wednesday 7 February 2007

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.


Corleone 8:28 AM on 7 Feb 2007

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...

Mark Eichin 11:08 PM on 7 Feb 2007

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.

Bernard Farrell 11:42 PM on 7 Feb 2007


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

I wonder whether the post was this from NewScientist:

Ned Batchelder 1:21 PM on 8 Feb 2007

Yes, Bernard, that was the page! Thanks for bringing it back from the vortex for me...

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