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The Canadian Mad Scientist
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Ooblick

What Is It, And How To Make It

Ooblick is a non-Newtonian substance that in the past has been popular at physics parties. It is a sort of goo, about the same as pancake batter. You can pour it just like any other thick fluid. But when under stress, it becomes rigid. So, if you hit it with a hammer, it will shatter, then rapidly change back into a goo. If you keep it moving, you can roll it into a ball and throw it. When it hits, it will shatter, then turn back to goo and drip down the wall. Kids and physicists love this stuff!

To make Ooblick, all you need is cornstarch and water. Mix the water into the cornstarch until the consistency is "just right" (it takes a bit of practice to judge this). Use a fork to mix it, this will be difficult because the fork will stress the Ooblick, making it want to turn more solid. As it starts to dry out over time, just add a bit more water. You may also add food colouring.

Some Things To Try With Ooblick

> Hit it with a hammer and watch it crack,
> Roll it into a ball and throw it at something,
> Pour it into an empty bathtub from as high up as you can,
> Roll it into a ball and stretch it really fast.

You can experiment with Ooblick, it's unusual properties make it fun to play with.