Oobleck: A Non-Newtonian Solid - Scientific American, Research paper on oobleck

Research paper on oobleck

Playing with Oobleck is a fun way for children to explore the properties of a substance (a “non-Newtonian fluid”) that can exhibit the properties of both a liquid and a solid.

Key concepts
Liquids and solids

From National Science Education Standards : Properties of objects and materials

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Continue adding cornstarch and water in small amounts until you get a mixture that has the consistency of honey. It may take a little work to get the consistency just right, but you will eventually end up mixing one box of cornstarch with roughly 1 to 2 cups of water. As a general rule of thumb, you’re looking for a mixture of roughly ten parts cornstarch to one part water. Notice that the mixture gets thicker, or more viscous, as you add more cornstarch.

For a science fair project some teachers require that the question be something you can measure, preferably with a number.

It’s a “non-Newtonian” fluid that doesn’t respond to outside forces the way you’d expect. The harder you stir it, the thicker it gets and the more it resists your stirring. Hit it hard enough, say with a hammer, and it instantly hardens enough to shatter.

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So why does this concoction act the way it does? Most of it has to do with pressure. The size, shape, and makeup of the cornstarch grains causes the cornstarch to “lock-up” and hold its shape when pressure is applied to it. People have filled small pools with oobleck and they are able to walk across the surface of it (as long as they move quickly.) As soon as they stop walking, they begin to sink.

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Throughout the body of your paper (primarily the Intro and Discussion), whenever you refer to outside sources of information, you must cite the sources from which you drew information. The simplest way to do this is to parenthetically give the author's last name and the year of publication, ., (Clarke 2001). When citing information from another's publication, be sure to report the relevant aspects of the work clearly and succinctly, IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Provide a reference to the work as soon as possible after giving the information.

Scott Waitukaitis and Heinrich Jaeger, physicists at the University of Chicago, have found that the situation is a bit different: When you hit a suspension the particles get compressed and transition into a solid state for a few moments.

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    It’s a “non-Newtonian” fluid that doesn’t respond to outside forces the way you’d expect. The harder you stir it, the thicker it gets and the more it resists your stirring. Hit it hard enough, say with a hammer, and it instantly hardens enough to shatter.

    Now that the Oobleck is just right, it's time to add some color. We save this step for later because it's a fun challenge to stir in the food coloring. You will have to slowly mix the Oobleck around to get it thoroughly mixed.

    Oobleck was the name given to a type of slime in a Dr. Seuss book that was capable of gumming up a whole kingdom. The oobleck that you can make for a science project isn't gummy, but it does have interesting properties of both solids and liquids. It normally behaves like a liquid or jelly, but if you squeeze it in your hand, it will seem like a solid.

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Oobleck - The Cornstarch And Water Experiment - Science Bob

mwvsciencefair - Oobleck Madness

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research paper on oobleck
research paper on oobleck

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