Casual Friday — Fun with cornstarch!

Here’s a neat little video clip I found on YouTube — showing some things you can do with a solution of water and cornstarch (well, and some vibration too):

This simple bit of video demonstrates a number of interesting concepts. For starters, the vibrating container causes Faraday waves — interesting to watch, and an milestone in the history of physics. Also, a starch and water solution is a non-Newtonian fluid — its viscosity isn’t constant, but rather is a function of a number of things. This allows for the tricks you see in this video, and also leads to a number of real-world applications of similar shear-thickening fluids.

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