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What does Corn Starch have to do with Quicksand?

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Hanan Mohamed

on 25 May 2011

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Transcript of What does Corn Starch have to do with Quicksand?

What does Corn Starch have to do with Quicksand? For my MOS project, I decided to test a corn starch and water mixture. I researched the effect corn starch has on water. I learned that the mixture acts like quicksand; when pressure is put on it, it acts like a solid, but when there isn't much pressure, it acts like a liquid. There are actually mollecular strands that get mixed up with pressure that causes the mixture to turn to a solid. When you relieve the pressure, the strands can relax and untangle. This is a picture of the corn starch-water mixture. For my experiment, I decided to test the 'quicksand' and see how it worked. For the first test, I tested the mixture to see if I could make a ball. I mixed 2/3 cups of water and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of corn starch to get a quicksand-like batter. By: Hanan Mohamed Any Questions? I was able to make a ball because I was putting pressure on the mixture. For the second test, I tried to slap and punch the mixture in the bowl. It was very hard! This is what happened when I stopped putting pressure on the ball: For the last test, I used the tips of my fingers to pick up the 'quicksand' as quickly as possible. This was hard as well. Once I picked it up, I let it slip out of my fingers and watched it drip down. It slipped right through my fingers! By doing my project, I learned that corn starch and water act like quicksand. When you put pressure on it, it acts like a solid, but when you don't, it seems like a liquid. When someone gets stuck in quicksand, they squirm and thrash, which only makes them go deeper. To get out, like I demonstrated in my experiment, you should move slowly, not quicklt. Let's just hope nobody here ever gets stuck in quicksand!
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