Phenomena

Blue Man Group in Slow Mo

In their latest video, the Slow Mo Guys team up with the Blue Man Group for some high-speed hijinks, some of which make for great fluidsy visuals. Their first experiment involves dropping a bowling ball on gelatin. The gelatin goes through some massive deformation but comes out remarkably unscathed. Gelatin is what is known as a colloid and essentially consists of water trapped in a matrix of protein molecules. This gives it both solid and liquid-like properties, which means that the energy the bowling ball’s impact imparts can be dissipated through liquid-like waves ricocheting through the gelatin before the elasticity of the protein matrix allows it to reform in its original shape.

The video ends with buckets of paint flung at Dan. The paints form beautiful splash sheets that expand and thin until surface tension can no longer hold them together. Holes form in the sheet and eat outward until the paint forms thin ligaments and catenaries. As those continue to stretch, surface tension drives the paint to break into droplets, though that break-up may be countered to some extent by any viscoelastic properties of the paint. (Image and video credit: The Slow Mo Guys + Blue Man Group, source)

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