the best science on the web about
non-Newtonian fluids

What is a Non-Newtonian Fluid?
Image: iStockphoto.com/rt80639

What is a Non-Newtonian Fluid?

What do ketchup, quicksand, paint, and blood have in common? All are non-Newtonian fluids, meaning their flow is altered by shear (outside pressure).

Shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluids become more viscous (resistant to flow) when strongly impacted, while shear-thinning ones become less viscous (and more runny) when agitated. Experience the difference with hands-on activities.

wiseGEEK
Outsmarting Oobleck

Outsmarting Oobleck

Named for the alternative precipitation in a Dr. Seuss story, oobleck is a combination of corn starch and water. Discover the amazing properties of this iconic non-Newtonian fluid.
More...

Video
NOVA/PBS
Can Non-Newtonian Fluid Behavior Explain Stuck Ketchup Bottles?

Can Non-Newtonian Fluid Behavior Explain Stuck Ketchup Bottles?

It’s a good bet that you have a non-Newtonian shear-thinning fluid in the fridge. What is it and why is it normally thick, only to come unstuck with a good shake or stir? More...

Article
Ars Technica
How Liquid Body Armor Works

How Liquid Body Armor Works

Traditional body armor can be bulky, heavy, and stiff. Explore the potential for protection from impact that a shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluid has when applied to lightweight Kevlar body armor. More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
Liquid Body Armor?

Liquid Body Armor?

Some non-Newtonian fluids become stiff upon impact. This could make them great candidates for body armor. Watch as this hypothesis is tested for eggs and watermelons. More...

Video
Discovery
Silly Putty for Potholes

Silly Putty for Potholes

Potholes are a sad fact of urban life, especially after long, hard winters. Find out how a student project on non-Newtonian fluids offers a solution to pothole repair. More...

Article
Science Magazine
Time Warp: Non-Newtonian Fluid

Time Warp: Non-Newtonian Fluid

Is it possible to walk across a trough filled with a non-Newtonian fluid such as cornstarch and water? Watch, in slow motion, how the fluid responds. More...

Video
HowStuffWorks
Viscosity and Pour Speed

Viscosity and Pour Speed

The relationship between a fluid's viscosity and pour speed depends on whether the fluid is Newtonian or non-Newtonian. Check out this trio of explanations. More...

Article
Newton/Department of Energy
Viscosity: Non-Newtonian Fluids

Viscosity: Non-Newtonian Fluids

Here’s an opportunity to make a (controlled) mess in the name of science! Whip up a batch of oobleck and put it through its paces as a non-Newtonian fluid. More...

Activity
Penn State

You Also Might Like

  1. thin films

    thin films

  2. antimicrobial agents

    antimicrobial agents

  3. waterproofing

    waterproofing

  4. buckyballs & nanotubes

    buckyballs & nanotubes

  5. ions

    ions