Phenomena

Microgravity Cornstarch

Featured Video Play Icon

We’ve seen the effects of vibration on shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluids here on Earth before in the form of “oobleck fingers” and “cornstarch monsters”, but, to my knowledge, this is the first such video looking at the behavior in space.  The vibrations of the speaker cause shear forces on the cornstarch mixture, which causes the viscosity of the fluid to increase. This is what makes it react like a solid to sudden impacts while still flowing like a liquid when left unperturbed. In microgravity there is one less force working against the rise of the cornstarch fingers, so the formations we see in this video are subtly different from those on Earth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: