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February 9th, 2009

Video of the week: Son of oobleck

Published on February 9th, 2009 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

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One can never get enough oobleck! Instead of running across it, this time, our video features Faraday waves, fingers and vortex (and vortices). This video is courtesy of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics at the University of Texas at Austin.

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2 Responses to Video of the week: Son of oobleck

  1. Gary Kent says:

    Self-organizing energy dissapative systems have been studied for a long time. Ilya Prigogine won a Nobel Prize for his work on these systems. There are articles in older Scientific American issues that cover some chemical systems that give patterns that are very reminiscent of these Faraday waves. But none have matched the fingers and holes. The holes are similar to those that can be produced in thixotropic fluids which are often suspensions just like the corn starch sol. But the fingers are somethng else. They seem to be alive!

    When there is a strong energy source like the oscillating electric field and there is a counterforce like the acceleration, complex substances like the starch suspension can behave in complex ways, often displaying self-organization. In the pre-biotic environment of the tidal pools of 4 billion years ago, macromolecular suspensions undoubtedly underwent such transformations. These may have eventually resulted in life. A living organism is the quintessential example of a self-organizing dissapative system.

    What is amazing is that the effect can be so dramatic with such a simple system under such easy conditions. I wonder what a mathematical model would look like.

  2. John Hamon says:

    Can you poke holes into this and create filters by turning this mass into a flixable solid mass to maintain its shape.
    Or does it loose its caracteristics when dried as water is evaporated?
    Could this make self inflated tires and an air compressor at the same time for creating energy? Would also replace need for suspension or be used as a damper.
    Would this be worth persuing for development or in the relm of possibilty?

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