We love a good oobleck video, and this oobleck video from Australia’s ABC Science is really good because of a twist on the classic egg drop experiment. Watch as Angharad Yeo conducts some serious non-Newtonian fluid experiments, from bouncing a ball on a bucket of oobleck to seeing if it will protect a raw egg that’s thrown at a wall…. over and over and over again.
Can she run on oobleck, too? Can you? Mix one part water with 1.5 parts corn starch to make your own. A quick summary of the science from the University of Waterloo:
Oobleck is an example of a non-Newtonian fluid. Under sudden stress or strain its viscosity increases significantly resulting in it acting more like a solid, but when the stress or strain is removed its viscosity decreases returning to a fluid, liquid-like state. When mixed with water, the cornstarch does not actually dissolve; rather, a suspension of solid cornstarch in water is formed. Each particle of cornstarch is surrounded by water allowing the particles to move relatively easily past one another. However, when the particles are subjected to a sudden, rapid stress, they are forced closer together “squeezing out” the water. The interactions between the particles increase making it more difficult for the particles to move past one another…
Remember: Don’t dispose of oobleck down the drain. And maybe don’t wear your socks while running on oobleck. The University of Waterloo includes child safety guidelines and disposal recommendations for conducting your own larger-scale oobleck experiments, too. (We let ours dry out and then compost the corn starch vs. throwing it in the trash.)
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