The science of the soft and squidgy

10 September 2014

On 6 September the IOP East Midlands Branch funded a workshop at the British Science Association’s national British Science Festival.

The science of the soft and squidgy

This year the festival took place in Birmingham and branch member, Dave Farmer was responsible for running an event called “The science of the soft and squidgy”.

The sessions focused on the physics of the soft matter we see around us. Participants first got to make their own bouncy balls to take home by linking together the polymer chains in PVA glue.

They then learned about non-Newtonian fluids such as the surprisingly strange tomato ketchup. Is it a liquid or a solid? Much fun was had playing with cornflour and water mixes to further explore this phenomenon.

Dave has recently started a new position as the SEPnet/Odgen Trust outreach officer at Royal Holloway, University of London. SEPnet is the South East Physics Network, a consortium of nine universities that work together to deliver excellence in physics, including outreach activities. The Ogden Trust is a charitable trust that exists to promote the teaching and learning of physics.