UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Hi, I am in love with your website and use it constantly for school science projects. We are studying asthenosphere and earth science, but I have a question. How is ooblec physically different from it?
Question Date: 2017-11-01
Answer 1:

Before I can talk about how the asthenosphere and oobleck are different, I first have to talk about how they're similar. Both substances do not behave like ordinary fluids: they either grow stronger or weaker when we stress them more.

The first difference is oobleck will strengthen when you deform it, which is why you can smash oobleck with a hammer. We call an oobleck-like fluid a shear-thickening fluid. The asthenosphere, although it moves slowly, actually becomes weaker with greater stress; it's a shear thinning fluid on long timescales.

The other big difference is the obvious one. The asthenosphere is much, much more viscous than oobleck. But . . .

Hypothetically speaking, what if we had super-oobleck which was immune to chemical changes? If we could shear it fast enough it would end up being even stronger than the asthenosphere!

Here is also a nice video on understanding the basic physics behind oobleck and some other colloidal materials:
oobleck revealed

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use