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Faraday Wave video
May 19, 2004 6:14 PM   Subscribe

This cornstarch, it vibrates. (wmv 4MB)
posted by stbalbach (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Why do half the WMV links I click in Mozilla give me a browser full of gibberish? They work in IE...
posted by punishinglemur at 6:23 PM on May 19, 2004


Because the assy IIS server is reporting their mime type as "text/plain" instead of whatever the right mime type of WMV files is. IE is smart enough to never try to actually display them as text, because it assumes .wmv files are video. Mozilla isn't platform-specific, and it actually trusts the webserver, and is just doing what it was told (by IIS)

I hate Microsoft.
posted by slacy at 6:30 PM on May 19, 2004 [1 favorite]


Bastards!
posted by punishinglemur at 6:36 PM on May 19, 2004


Meanwhile, the video is pretty cool. I have no idea why it would be useful to a scientist, but that is why I am not a scientist.

It's still cool, though.
posted by turaho at 6:38 PM on May 19, 2004


Freaking cool video. I love Microsoft. (really)
posted by woil at 6:45 PM on May 19, 2004


I'm a little afraid of the finger-like protrusions.
posted by loquax at 6:46 PM on May 19, 2004


It's called thixotropy.
Some fluids behave as a solid when left alone, become liquid when agitated (technically, when they are subject to shear forces).
In what is supposed to be my field of expertise (oil and gas well drilling) it's an important property of the drilling muds, since a thixotropic drill mud will be easy to pump around the hole, but when not being pumped will tend to gel, preventing the rock cuttings from falling down the hole where they can cause problems.

Just thought you might like to know that.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:48 PM on May 19, 2004


Do the finger-like protrusions ever claim one of the drillers for their own?
posted by loquax at 6:51 PM on May 19, 2004


"Do the finger-like protrusions ever claim one of the drillers for their own?"

Not as yet, although I live in hope ...
Actually, that kind of Lovecraftian nightmare scenario is one I could enjoy seeing. From a distance, of course.
"Screams echoed forth from the drillers shack as the hideous tendrils, their surfaces the colour of fungoid monstrosities only seen before in dreams of vast caverns, made their way remorselessly through the door. And then, a sharp wet sound as of the slapping of dead seaweed on some forsaken shore."
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:10 PM on May 19, 2004


a sharp wet sound

Classic. I'll have bad dreams tonight!
posted by loquax at 7:12 PM on May 19, 2004


Cornstarch and water (sometimes called ooblick) behaves strangely under stress. With the right mixture, it acts like a viscous liquid normally, yet if you hit it hard and suddenly, it'll solidify, crack in pieces, and each piece will liquify very shortly afterwards. It has odd shear properties.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:13 PM on May 19, 2004


Maaaaaannnn.

Those fingers are like a bad acid trip or something. Freaked me right out.
posted by Windopaene at 7:48 PM on May 19, 2004


It's The Blob! *runs away, screaming like a baby*
posted by dg at 7:50 PM on May 19, 2004


Wow that's amazing! Great link! Those fingers are freaky. Very freaky.
posted by riffola at 7:54 PM on May 19, 2004


Best damn $100million in research the US government ever granted!
posted by crunchland at 8:02 PM on May 19, 2004


it looks like the Ocean in Solaris
posted by MzB at 8:52 PM on May 19, 2004


Silly Putty must also be thixotropic - roll it into a ball and throw it at the floor and it bounces like a superball, but hit it with a hammer and it will shatter and fly all over the place as if it were made of glass.
posted by GriffX at 9:07 PM on May 19, 2004


Somebody do me a favor: crop the last 30 seconds of that to remove the dish and the background, then add some barely audible screams to the image of the writhing fingers. Put it in a loop, and then register the domain "www.hellhasawebcam.com"
posted by Hildago at 11:27 PM on May 19, 2004


Wow. Both intensely fascinating and vaguely repulsive.
posted by FormlessOne at 8:48 AM on May 20, 2004


Another way to describe it is as a non-Newtonian liquid. Cornstarch and water behaves like a solid when a force is applied. We used to play with it in nursery school and I remember it fondly. Another example of a non-Newtonian liquid is ketchup. Ketchup behaves like a solid until a force is applied, which is why you have to shake and bang the bottle to get it to flow. But one it begins to flow, it behaves like a liquid and it makes a mess of your fries.
posted by eperker at 11:00 AM on May 20, 2004


There's an AVI-version (if that's a less evil format for you) of the movie here , as well as a copy of the PRL paper describing the results.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 11:13 AM on May 20, 2004


This is pertinent to the recent news about Liquid armor, which is based on Kevlar soaked in a shear-thickening fluid: same effect of hardening on impact. PDF paper here: Advanced body armor utilizing shear thickening fluids.
posted by raygirvan at 11:41 AM on May 20, 2004


eperker: mayonnaise is so much better on fries, and without those non-Newtonian ketchup problems.
posted by Goofyy at 8:52 AM on May 21, 2004


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