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Make Your Own Oobleck – The scientist’s slime!

Team StoryWeavers|May 25, 2020|

You must have learned equations with numbers and letters, but today we have a new equation for you with a delicious spin – a food equation! Can you fill in the below food equation with the missing element to make the perfect burger?

Soft buns + yummy patty + crunchy lettuce + _______ = perfect burger

The answer, of course, is mayonnaise!

This versatile condiment is the perfect addition to fast food and is an instant favourite. But did you know that there’s a lot more to mayonnaise than it’s finger-licking deliciousness? Mayonnaise displays two exceptional properties that are important to the physics of fluids.

Mayonnaise is an emulsion and a non-newtonian fluid.

That’s impressive for a humble condiment, isn’t it? Let’s investigate what this means!

Mayonnaise contains oil and lemon juice that don’t normally mix, but because they are stirred quickly, they form an emulsion. Emulsions also need an emulsifying agent to stabilize it. In mayonnaise, eggs play this role and prevent the oil from separating out.

Let’s also investigate what non-newtonian fluids are.

A lot of household fluids like mayonnaise, ketchup, and jam are non-newtonian fluids.

Do you want to see for yourself how non-newtonian fluids flow differently under pressure?

Try this activity by making Oobleck – a non-newtonian fluid!

                                Method

  • Take a big mixing bowl and add 1.5 cups of cornstarch
  • Slowly add water to the cornstarch and mix with a spoon
  • Keep mixing till you get a smooth liquid
  • Your Oobleck is ready!

Put your hands into the Oobleck and try to make it into a ball. The Oobleck will be a ball when you clench your fist. But when you release your fist (and the pressure from it), it immediately flows like a liquid!

Did you ever think that something as common as mayonnaise could be a scientific marvel? While scientific concepts may sometimes seem complex, they are often applied for things that we use and see every day! All we need is a little exploring to find them out!

Will you try making your own Oobleck? Let us know in the comments!

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