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The magical 'solid or liquid' experiment

Things Needed:

  1. A big bowl

  2. 1 cup corn starch

  3. ½ cup water

  4. Spoon

  5. An old newspaper


  1. Spread the newspaper on the table before placing the bowl on it.

  2. Add 1 cup of corn starch into the bowl.

  3. Add ½ cup of water into the bowl containing the starch.

  4. Using the spoon, stir the mixture together.

  5. Hit the surface of the mixture using your fist. You will observe that the mixture behaves almost like a solid and the mixture doesn’t splash all over.

  6. Also, try holding onto the mixture without applying any pressure on it, you will observe that the mixture flows like liquid, on your palm.

How does it work?

The mixture of corn starch and water yields something called the ‘Non-Newtonian’ fluid, as they do not have the properties of either solids or liquids. The mixture exhibits the properties of a solid when the pressure applied increases and, when the pressure applied reduces, it behaves like a liquid. The mixture behaves so because of ‘viscosity’. Viscosity is the physical property of fluids, which indicates how fast/slow it will flow. Viscosity in simple terms is the thickness or thinness of a liquid.


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