Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 29, 2006

Shaken Cornstarch Grows Fingers

at 10:30 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Funny Hacks


I guess I lead a sheltered life since I didn’t know about the “cornstarch reaction“. Make sure you watch the end of the first video. The last video is cute…

“Due to its dilatant behavior, cornstarch suspended in water is not a good analog for modeling a Newtonian lower crust. However, workers have suggested that crystal-rich magmas behave in a dilatant manner (Smith, 1997; 2000), as evidenced by brittle fractures in igneous intrusions that are cross-cut by fluid flow of the same material. This implies that a cornstarch suspension could be a useful analog for modeling deformation and flow in crystal-rich magmas, and that this type of flow may be important in the modeling of all igneous intrusions as crystal content increases with time.”


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9 Responses to “Shaken Cornstarch Grows Fingers”

  1. cb Says:

    Were they really “ramping up the acceleration”? It looked and sounded like it was at a constant frequency…

  2. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi CB, I “think” that the frequency is constant but the amplitude is increasing, could be wrong though.

  3. Non-Newtonian Fluid Fun Says:

    […] Edit: Here are some more videos of non-Newtonian videos doing wacky things. […]

  4. Science Projects: The Joy of Non-Newtonian Fluids - Unsought Input Says:

    […] And of course, since this is the Internet, there are even more videos to watch. Tags: geeks, how to, non newtonian fluids, oobleck, Science, science projectLast 3 posts by adminCharacteristics of Top Reddit Submissions – Sep 18th, 2006 […]

  5. Miss Darlene Says:

    We do Oobleck (cornstarch and water) in preschool as well as younger ages. We discuss the unusual properties of it acting like both a solid and a liquid. It’s hard to see from the videos I saw, but the surface is shiney!! I never tried the vibration thing though. Have you tried mixing white glue and liquid starch?

  6. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Darlene,

    Oobleck was a new term to me… had to look it up

    I could see kids having lots of fun playing with this stuff! What does glue do to it when mixed in?

  7. Cynthia Says:

    I’m doing a bit of research on cornstarch and water for a kid’s chemistry book, and I saw the reference to a paper by “Smith, 1997; 2000” about using it as a model for crystal-rich magmas. Anybody know the full reference for those papers?

    Also, anybody know a good expert to talk to about non-Newtonian fluids, especially cornstarch and water?

    And yes, kids LOVE this stuff. My daughter is doing a small pool of it for her science fair project.

    Thanks for any help/insight.

  8. My Blog, My Life » Archive du blog » Liquid and Solid at the same time !!! Says:

    […] Here is a good example. […]

  9. Water Drops and Acoustic Vibration - Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] some Water Drops and Acoustic Vibration. The results are very eye catching, reminds me a bit of the non-newtonian fluid experiments we saw in the past. To ramp up the fun this could be connected to a microcontroller and the […]

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