Soft Matter at Dundee Science Festival

09 Dec 2015

On a particularly wet and windy Saturday students from the Condensed Matter Centre for Doctoral Training lead by soft matter researchers Katy Dickenson and Katherine Rumble journeyed to the Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee with a stand displaying the complexities of phases of matter. The stand, organised and run by the students themselves, was set up in the upper mall as part of a larger event within Dundee Science Festival. Shoppers were captivated by the non-Newtonian properties of oobleck, a simple mixture of cornflour and water which can behave as both a solid and a liquid. The oobleck even performed for the visitors by dancing to the sound waves produced by a speaker. The process of making slime, another substance that behaves both as a solid and a liquid, from PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) which was crosslinked with Borax delighted children and adults alike. This same stand was taken to another event for Dundee Science Festival at the Menzieshill Community Centre in Dundee. In addition to the demonstrations and experiments described above home-made lava lamps were produced for this event which fascinated the children visiting our stand.