Thursday January 30, 2014

Today's Word: Thixotropy

thixotropy: Reversible behaviour of certain gels that liquefy when they are shaken, stirred, or otherwise disturbed and reset after being allowed to stand. -- britannica.com

Scene: The local diner.
Two men are sitting at the counter. Man One reaches for a ketchup bottle.

He unscrews the cap, holds the bottle vertically above his plate, neck downward, and smacks the bottom of the bottle with his hand. Nothing happens.

After several attempts, he stares at the bottle, recaps, it, sets it aside, and reaches for the bottle in front of his friend.

His friend picks up the bottle first, turns it, hits the lid a few times with his hand, and then hands over the bottle.

Man One takes the bottle, unscrews the cap, holds the bottle vertically above his plate, neck downward, and smacks the bottom of the bottle with his hand. A small blob of ketchup falls out.

Man One stares at the bottle, then takes his knife, inserts it into the neck of the bottle and loosens the ketchup which he proceeds to glop onto his eggs and potatoes.

The moral of our story: Ketchup is thixotropic. It liquifies where you hit it. Smack the bottom of the bottle and the ketchup will liquify there. You may, eventually, smack it hard enough to dislodge a blob from the other end, but the simplest way to get the ketchup moving is to tilt the bottle at a slight angle off the horizontal and tap near the neck (on the underside) with the edge of your hand.

Alternatively, you can provide entertainment for other diners...

Pouring ketchup

Today's Word: Thixotropy ( in category Show & Tell ) - posted at Thu, 30 Jan, 09:46 Pacific | «e»


Post a comment

Any posted comments will be viewable by all visitors. Please try to stay relevant ;-) If you simply want to say something to me, please send me email.

All comments will be moderated. Thank you for your consideration.