Terra Sig links to a neat demonstration of the properties of non-Newtonial fluids. Or, more specifically, the properties of shear-thickening fluids – fluids whose viscosity increases when deformed. Put simply, these are liquids that act more like solids when you try to change their shape too quickly.
The test fluid for the demonstration? Silly Putty. Fifty pounds of it. Dropped off of a building. Neat, eh?
I do have a suggestion for next year’s demonstration, though. Drop the fifty pound silly putty block from the building into a large vat of corn starch in water.
Why corn starch and water? Corn starch/water mixtures are also shear-thickening fluids.
It’d be an Iron Chef of non-Newtonian fluids!