Cornstarch & Water – Explained by Physicists – Heinrich Jaeger and Scott Waitukaitis



The process of impact-activated solidification that occurs when compressive forces are applied to fluid-grain suspensions. The two researchers conduct experiments with a mixture of cornstarch and water that is classified as a non-Newtonian liquid. This video examines the strange behavior of the cornstarch-water liquid, which instantly changes into a solid within the area of impact. The behavior of non-Newtonian liquids has puzzled scientists for decades, and Waitukaitis and Jaeger’s report sheds new light on this longstanding problem in suspension science.

Heinrich Jaeger, William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Professor in Physics, and Scott Waitukaitis, a graduate student in the Physics department, have published a report in the July 12, 2012 issue of Nature.

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