Typically, liquids take on the shape of the container they are poured into. We call these ‘normal liquids’ Newtonian fluids. But some fluids don’t follow this rule. We call these ‘strange liquids’ non-Newtonian fluids.
Non-Newtonian fluids change their viscosity or flow behavior under stress. If you apply a force to such fluids (say you hit, shake, or jump on them), the sudden application of stress can cause them to get thicker and act like a solid, or in some cases it results in the opposite behavior and they may get runnier than they were before. Remove the stress (let them sit still or only move them slowly) and they will return to their earlier state.
Now for the fun part, make your own festive non-Newtonian fluid oobleck (named after a substance in the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck).
Reagents & Equipment
- Mix one cup of cornstarch and ½ a cup of water (a 2:1 ratio of cornstarch to water gives a good oobleck)
- Pour and spoon onto the baking sheet and add the peppermints
- Use tweezers, or your hands and play with the oobleck and peppermints
- Add anything else you wish to make your oobleck even more festive (e.g. glitter)