Terra Sigillata

More things with cornstarch and water

Via Will’s Clicked, a Spanish TV show on science and technology demonstrates the “shear-thickening” property of a non-Newtonian fluid (i.e., where rapid application of forces causes the fluid to behave like a solid).

Pretty cool – watch what happens around 1:49 when one of the hosts stands still atop the muck.


  1. #1 LM Wanderer
    November 26, 2006

    Amazing video.

    We used to make oobleck (aka ubleck, a mixture of corn starch and water) in the bath tubs in the party rooms at MiniCon ( http://mnstf.org/minicon ) in Minneapolis back in the mid 1980’s. You can’t move fast in oobleck.

    LM Wanderer

  2. #2 JYB
    November 26, 2006

    Excellent! I don’t understand Spanish, so did they say anything about how much water and corn starch was in that tub? Seems like something I should have done in my college dorm room.

  3. #3 Ruth
    November 29, 2006

    About 25 years ago, I took rheology, where we worked the math for non-Newtonian fluids. My favorite non-Newtonian fluid is ketchup. It thins as stress is applied in a linear fashion, and then it flows as a liquid on your white shirt (Bingham plastic).

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