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Krum Independent School District

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Week 2: Non-Newtonian Fluid

We all love floating in the pool when it's summertime! When it comes to fluids, some items float, and some sink. But when it comes to non-Newtonian fluid, it's a little more special! 

Non-Newtonian Fluid


  • Corn starch
  • Water
  • Large container


  1. Pour cornstarch into the container of your choice.
  2. Slowly add in water. Mix the two and add more water until you have a thick, homogenous mixture.
  3. Play with the mixture! Try hitting it hard with your fist, or just slowly sink your hand into the mixture and observe what happens. 

Why It Works:

The starch particles in the corn starch swell in the water and create a bond in the form of chaotically interlaced molecules.  At a high shear rate of force, the tight bonds do not let the molecules move, and the mixture acts like a solid.  At a low shear rate of force, the molecules spread out and the mixture acts like a liquid. The name “non-Newtonian” comes from the fact that this mixture does not obey the usual laws of physics. 

This experiment and its scientific understanding were found on MEL Chemistry