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# States of Matter

## Introduction to one of the four states of matter where particles are tightly packed and have a definite shape and volume.

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What Would Newton Say?

### What Would Newton Say?

Credit: United States Geological Survey
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mitch-_Casita_Mudslide.JPG

Liquified mud flows down a mountainside in Nicaragua. Mud is usually a solid. But under some conditions, mud may turn to a liquid state and flow downhill.

#### The Back Story

• All fluids (liquids and gases) can flow, but they resist flowing to some degree. Some fluids resist more than others (think honey vs. water). Resistance to flowing is called viscosity.
• Most fluids have more-or-less constant viscosity at a given temperature. Such fluids are called Newtonian fluids. That’s because they behave as first described by Isaac Newton in the 1600s.
• A few fluids are non-Newtonian fluids. These fluids behave very strangely and their viscosity can change. Sometimes they act like liquids. Sometimes they act like solids.
• Credit: Jason Eppink
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasoneppink/1804624609

Oobleck is both a liquid and a solid [Figure2]

• An example of a non-Newtonian fluid is oobleck, a cornstarch-and-water mixture you may have made in school or at home. It’s fun to play with oobleck because it runs through your fingers like a liquid but acts like a solid if you squeeze it. You can see some oobleck and learn how to make it by watching this video: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=oobleck-bring-science-home

#### Can You Apply It?

1. What is a non-Newtonian fluid?
2. Besides oobleck and mud, what are some examples of non-Newtonian fluids?
3. What are examples of forces that change the viscosity of non-Newtonian fluids?
4. What happens when the stress is removed from a non-Newtonian fluid?
5. Why might an earthquake cause a mudflow?
6. Why would a non-Newtonian fluid be good for body armor?

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