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Scientists Have Created a New Pasta Shape to Explain Polymer Physics

Scientists Have Created a New Pasta Shape to Explain Polymer Physics


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A new ring-shaped pasta has been designed to help scientists understand an area of polymer physics

Anelloni pasta was created in the name of scientific exploration.

Physicists from the University of Warwick have created a new, ring-shaped pasta to explain “one of the last big mysteries in polymer physics,” revealed in Physics World this month.

The new pasta is a ring-shaped creation called “anelloni” (annello is Italian for “ring”), and was made with just two eggs and 200 grams of flour by physicists Davide Michieletto and Matthew S Turner.

When cooked and thrown into a bowl, the pasta loops get tangled together, much like ring-shaped polymers do.

The researchers themselves identify ring-shaped polymers as “very poorly understood,” so we won’t get involved with the details — we’re only here for the food.

Watch the video below, taken at the headquarters of Physics World, to see the physicists tackle a bowl of anelloni, which behave a little differently than any other bowl of pasta and are much harder to extract individually.

"[W]hen it comes to eating pasta, the Italians were right all along - you're better off sticking to spaghetti, which you can eat nice and quickly,” the team concludes. “Make yourself a bowl of anelloni and it's likely to have gone cold by the time you've pulled all the rings apart and struggled your way to the messy end.”


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


It's a Solid. It's a Liquid. It's Oobleck!

Introduction
Why is it so hard to get out of quicksand? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Can it be both? In this activity, you will make a substance that is similar to quicksand&mdashbut much more fun. Play around with it and find out how it acts differently from a normal liquid and a normal solid.

Other, more familiar substances change states (from solids to liquids to gases) when we change the temperature, such as freezing water into ice or boiling it away into steam. But this simple mixture shows how changes in pressure, instead of temperature, can change the properties of some materials.

Background
Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens&mdashyour fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

Materials
&bull 1 cup of water
&bull 1 to 2 cups of cornstarch
&bull Mixing bowl
&bull Food coloring (optional)

Preparation
&bull Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It's made up of super-fine particles.
&bull Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thick.
&bull Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it&rsquos easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
&bull Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

Procedure
&bull Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy! Drop your hands quickly into the Oobleck, then slowly lower your hands into it. Notice the difference!
&bull Hold a handful in your open palm&mdashwhat happens?
&bull Try squeezing it in your fist or rolling it between your hands&mdashhow does it behave differently?
&bull Move your fingers through the mixture slowly, then try moving them faster.
&bull What else can you do to test the mixture's properties?
&bull Extra: If you have a large plastic bin or tub, you can make a big batch of Oobleck. Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 10 or more and mix it up. Take off your shoes and socks and try standing in the Oobleck! Can you walk across it without sinking in? Let you feet sink down and then try wiggling your toes. What happens?

Read on for observations, results and more resources.


Observations and results
What is happening when you squeeze the Oobleck? What is happening when you release the pressure? Does the Oobleck remind you of anything else?

The Oobleck mixture isn't your typical liquid&mdashor solid. The cornstarch-and-water mixture creates a fluid that acts more like quicksand than water: applying force (squeezing or tapping it) causes it to become thicker. If you were trapped in a tub of Oobleck, what would be the best way to escape?

Share your Oobleck observations and results! Leave a comment below or share your photos and feedback on Scientific American's Facebook page.

Cleanup
Wash hands with water. Add plenty of extra water to the mixture before pouring it down the drain. Wipe up any dried cornstarch with a dry cloth before cleaning up any remaining residue with a damp sponge.

Up next&hellip
The Magic of Gravity

What you'll need
&bull Coin
&bull Bottle, jar or canister with a small top opening (larger&mdashbut not too much bigger&mdashthan the coin)
&bull 3- by-5-inch note card or other sturdy piece of paper
&bull Scissors
&bull Tape
&bull Pen or pencil
&bull Water (optional)


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