Fun materials

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To keep us amused during the holidays, Tom from the New Scientist Technology Blog has compiled a short list of fun materials - stuff that behaves a little bit outside the norm - with instructions to do it at home.

Here goes a short version of the original article:

  • Dilatants, also knows as Non-Newtonian fluids, so named because it's properties cannot be described in terms of the concepts of classical fluids. For instance, they get more solid when stressed;
  • Auxetic material - materials that get thicker when stretched. Pull them in one direction and they expand in another;
  • Superfluids - liquids that flow without friction. They can effortlessly flow through the tiniest of cracks and will even flow up the walls of a beaker and out the top;
  • Ferrofluids - magnetic fluids that can look spectacular. They're made from nanoscale magnetic particles suspended in a liquid;
  • Dry ice. Carbon dioxide freezes at -78.5 °C and it's fun and versatile stuff:

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