May 29, 2017
A professor had asked cadets to think up ways to stop a pistol bullet. She thought of a child’s toy called Oobleck, which has a really scientific second name: a non-Newtonian fluid.I can't believe nobody thought of this before. Well, apart from Brunner.
Those fluids, made with substances like cornstarch, are gooey and oozy to a gentle touch, but become as hard as steel when struck.
That means when a object traveling with a lot of force strikes the goo, it runs into something like Superman’s chest.
Weir has a collection of mushroom-shaped spent bullets, to prove it.
It was in effect a palmless glove made of impact-sensitive plastic about a quarter-inch thick. Pressed, pinched, drawn on or off the hand, it remained flexible and nearly as soft as good leather. Struck against a resistant surface, its behavior changed magically, and while the interior stayed soft to act as a cushion against bruising, its outer layers became as rigid as metal.And, apparently, Gerrold and Niven.
"My impact suit," he repeated. "Normally it flows like cloth, but under a sharp blow it becomes a single rigid unit.