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News From the Field

How to Rip and Tear a Fluid

June 1, 2007

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In a simple experiment on a mixture of water, soap and a salt, researchers have shown that a rigid object like a knife will pass through the mixture as if it were a liquid when speeds are slow, but when careening through at speed, the knife rips the mixture as if it were a rubbery solid. The experiment sheds light into the properties of many everyday materials, like toothpaste, that do not fall into the standard textbook case of solid, liquid or gas. Full Story

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