Skip to content ↓

Palace Wood

Primary School

From little acorns, mighty oaks grow

Particle Theory

Melting Spoons and thixotropic non-newtonian substances!!

Who knew that metal spoons could melt in warm water and what on earth do the above words mean?

Well talk to your children they do and can explain the how and why.

It was an interesting session when the melting spoon was introduced. Almost all of the children confidently argued that the spoon wouldn't melt because all metals have a high melting point - thousands of degrees were quoted. Imagine the suprise when a spoon was melted in room temperature tap water! A video is below - not the one of Mrs Kyte as it was a bit blurry - but this one is much cooler with other uses for the amazing metal Gallium.

So what about thixotropic and non-newtonian? Well you can all make this from your kitchen cupboard! Go on give it a go -it is great fun! Cornflour , a little water and (if you are brave and want to have stained hands for a week) food colouring. Year 5 had great fun with this.

Most importantly - the SCIENCE!

Ask your children. They should be able to tell you about the bonds betwen particles in solids, liquids and gases as well as understand that their strength might may vary between the different states of matter. Below is a video of John Tickle walking on custard, his links to the same principles that Year 5 applied to their homemade thixotropic substance. Your children were able to explain how pressure can cause some substances to change from solid to liquid before their eyes. Impressive eh ?