on the topic of Student Reading
You are probably already pretty familiar with the three common states of matter: solids, liquids, and gases. In fact, because you are so smart, you can probably name examples of each type of matter without much effort.
But, have you ever seen a substance that acts like a solid some of the time, and acts like a liquid some of the time?
These are called non-newtonian fluids because they don’t “flow” the way other liquids do.
You can make your own non-newtonian fluid at home. Just mix 3 parts cornstarch with 1 part water (for example, 1 cup of cornstarch with 1/3 cup of water, etc).
Voila! It’s done.
Notice that when you gently mix the suspension together, it behaves a lot like a liquid. But try digging your hand into it with a lot of force. Can you feel the resistance?
In your science class, you may have discussed the term viscosity. Viscosity means resistance to flow. What makes the mixture of cornstarch and water special is that its viscosity changes depending on the amount of force applied to it. In fact, the cornstarch-water mixture falls into a class of compounds called shear-thickening fluids, where the resistance to flow of the material increases with increased stress. There are other types of non-newtonian fluids, as well.
Can you think of any experiments that you could do using your non-newtonian fluid?
For fun, check out this super cool video on YouTube where they filled an entire pool with a non-newtonian fluid!