How Crazy Can It Get?

Give It A Shake, Cornstarch Comes Alive

Science Friday brings you science fair project for the recession: combine cornstarch and water and make a fluid with bizarre physical properties, on the cheap. Physicists Robert Deegan, of the University of Michigan, and Harry Swinney, of the University of Texas at Austin, explain why the mixture comes to life under the right conditions.



Newest Olympic Sport?

They filled a pool with a mix of cornstarch and water made on a concrete mixer truck. It becomes a non-newtonian fluid. When stress is applied to the liquid it exhibits properties of a solid.


Walking on the water?

Walking on water surely make things interesting, and when you do, it would be a miracle. Then the mythbusters surely tried that idea, but it was "busted". One experiment was done when Adam successfully walk on it. By mixing 200 gallons of water with 1000 pounds of corn starch – yes corn starch. But, surely its not 100% water.


11 responses

  1. Jen

    Clever fun!

    March 14, 2009 at 11:01 am

  2. Bob

    Hey Jeffrey I sprinkle myself head to toe with cornstarch baby powder every day? I love the stuff, but its not THAT funny.

    March 14, 2009 at 11:04 am

  3. Carolina

    Hmmm… the 2 squares below the first video are blank. Interesting though.

    March 15, 2009 at 5:39 am

  4. Mandy

    We have a science prog over here, Brainiacs they walked on custard powder. It\’s a program that actually tries out all the things you want to do, after seeing warnings, about not doing it (but no reason why, you shouldn\’t) putting various stuff in microwave ovens, is always good!

    March 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm

  5. Jen

    @Spyder: When I looked yesterday, the first film wouldn\’t load but after I scrolled back to the top of the screen, it finally decided to load up while I was watching the others! Give it another go. They\’re really good. Actually, the first one gave me the creeps! Loved \’em all, though.

    March 15, 2009 at 1:41 pm

  6. Jen

    Mand: Have you seen the one where someone puts a mobile phone in a microwave? It\’s on YouTube. I\’ll try and find the link if you want to see it. Crazy things some people try, aye!

    March 15, 2009 at 1:42 pm

  7. Mandy

    Don\’t worry, Jen I\’ve seen it on Brainiacs, already! All vids worked for me, loved the first BTW, spooky!!

    March 15, 2009 at 1:52 pm

  8. Jen

    All right! Yes – the first one was very impressive.

    March 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  9. John

    One of the earliest experiments I remember seeing was on fluid dymanics using cooking oil, water, and food coloring. I have seen the above on Myth Busters, one of my favorite shows, as well as Time Warp where they used high speed cameras to slow down the physics going on. Surface tention is a wonderful thing, you can see it in the ocean when a large ship turns, the surface will rupture and "thinner" water will bubble up from the bottom and work much different then the surface, fluid dynamics is pretty amazing.

    March 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm

  10. Tracey

    Very cool!

    March 19, 2009 at 8:23 pm

  11. Happy

    Enjoy Myth Busters; great science-based lessons.

    March 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm

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