Discovering Digital Out-of-Home
The states of matter are familiar to us all: solids are rigid, liquids flow, and gases expand. These states characterize our experience of the physical world – the surfaces we touch, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Yet there are materials that fall outside of this basic typology, combining the properties of different states and behaving in ways that seem counterintuitive.
Take oobleck, for example, a whimsically named mixture of corn starch and water. Disturb it gently and it behaves like a liquid. Contact it hard and fast enough, though, and it resists force like a solid – such that people can run over its surface.
Materials like oobleck challenge the assumption that physical properties like rigidity and liquidity must comport to certain states of matter. In order to make sense of such peculiar substances, we must refrain from forcing them into conventional classifications.