Science!, Science! For Parties

Science! For Parties- Non-Newtonian Dance Party

Have you ever been to a party where it seems like everyone is waiting for someone else to be the first one on the dance floor? It’s a bummer, right? Well with a little bit of preparation you can make sure that the next party you host comes with guests ready made to boogie down. Science! For Parties presents Non-Newtonian Dance Party!
Now, this is the rare science party trick that I recommend only doing at your own party as it can make an unknowing host a little nervous. First, you’ll need to mix up a box of cornstarch with a cup of water in a bowl. Mix it well, making sure to break up any lumps. When the mixture is the consistency of syrup you can stop mixing.
You’ll also need a speaker cone which I will leave up to you to figure out as I do not want to be responsible for any engineering or electrical mishaps. Wrap the speaker in plastic and then place the cornstarch-water mixture on the plastic in the center bowl of the cone. Turn the stereo on and gently turn up the volume. Your cornstarch-water mixture will begin to jump and dance and form all manner of strange shapes. Pro-tip alternate the types of music coming out of the speakers to see if you can generate different effects.
So how does it work? The cornstarch-water mixture is whats called a Non-Newtonian fluid which means it does not follow Newton’s Law of Viscosity. Or in non-geek speak it means the mixture is a fluid that does not act like normal fluids of its ‘thickness’. The movements you see are the sound-waves from the speaker passing through the variable viscosity of the fluid.
It’s a bit of a messy trick but one that is sure to delight party guests of any age or sobriety. As an added bonus you can challenge someone to say Non-Newtonian Fluid ten times fast. Have fun!

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