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Physics of Silly Putty

  1. Jan 4, 2012 #1
    Hello All!

    This is my first time posting here. I just had a physics question, googled and found this forum and figure it would be a good place to ask.

    I recently was given a piece of silly putty and left it out on the table, and of course over 24 hours or so, it flattened out into a disc with a convex bubble shape to it.

    My question is: Does the silly putty keep flattening out infinitely as time elapses or is there some asymptote that is reached? And, if an asymptote is reached, at one point would you speculate it would be reached?

    Any ideas or thoughts are appreciated!

    Thanks,

    steiney
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2012 #2
    There is an asmptote, it is the point when the surface tension balances all the other forces. Observe what happens to water when you spill it on the table - it doesn't get infinitely thin.

    Silly putty is this type of material:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscoelasticity
     
  4. Jan 4, 2012 #3
    Yeah, that makes sense. I guess it probably doesn't get too much thinner after 24-48 hours. Thanks for the wiki link. Wikipedia is awesome!
     
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