MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What is an object called if it has both liquid and solid properties?

Date: Mon Nov 30 12:18:38 1998
Posted By: Jerry Franzen, Faculty Chemistry
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 909690911.Ch

Liquid crystal materials have properties of both liquids and solids.  They 
seem to lack the very orderly arrangement of molecules found in a solid 
crystalline material.  They can have different degrees of order that can be 
observed in some as the temperature changes (pigments that change color 
with temperature) or through electrical stimulation, as in the liquid 
crystal displays found in digital watches.

The case of Silly Putty is somewhat different; I do not know whether one 
would say that it has the properties of both a liquid and a solid.  I have 
heard it referred to as a special kind of liquid - a non-Newtonian fluid.  
Most fluids are Newtonian - they share the common properties of fluids.  In 
particular, they flow on their own - they make a nice steady stream from 
one container to another - like pouring water from one glass to another no 
matter how fast you pour.  The non-Newtonian fluid also will flow normally 
like this on its own, but it will flow only slowly.  Silly putty oozes.  If 
you pull GENTLY on Silly Putty it will stretch, a form of oozing or 
flowing.  BUT, if you pull sharply on Silly Putty, it will break; its as 
though it can't ooze fast enough.  You might say that since it breaks that 
it does act somewhat like a solid.

I hope that this helps.  You should be able to try this with the Silly 
Putty you make. 

Current Queue | Current Queue for Chemistry | Chemistry archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Chemistry.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1998. All rights reserved.