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Science in Action: Is Oobleck a Liquid or a Solid?

The three states of matter are one of the basic principles of science. Items and substances can either be a liquid, a solid or a gas, and some things can change states depending on the circumstances. Take water. It’s normally a liquid, but if you heat it up it becomes a gas. And at cold temperatures it turns into a solid in the form of ice.

Some substances, though, seem to defy categorization as just one state of matter. Take oobleck, a simple substance made from combining water and corn starch. It seems to be a both a solid and a liquid all at once. How can that be?

Watch this video to see how to make your own oobleck and how it seems to be both a solid and a liquid at the same time. These substances that seem to defy the states of matter are called non-Newtonian fluids. Can you think of any real-life examples of this mixed state of matter?


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