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.

Comments

[gravatar]
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...

[gravatar]
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.

[gravatar]
Bernard Farrell 11:42 PM on 7 Feb 2007

Ned

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

I wonder whether the post was this from NewScientist:
http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/2006/12/stuff-of-dreams.html

[gravatar]
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...

Add a comment:

Ignore this:
Leave this empty:
Name is required. Either email or web are required. Email won't be displayed and I won't spam you. Your web site won't be indexed by search engines.
Don't put anything here:
Leave this empty:
URLs auto-link and some tags are allowed: <a><b><i><p><br><pre>.