Nonmonotonic settling of a sphere in a cornstarch suspension

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Cornstarch suspensions exhibit remarkable behavior. Here, we present two unexpected observations for a sphere settling in such a suspension: In the bulk of the liquid the velocity of the sphere oscillates around a terminal value, without damping. Near the bottom the sphere comes to a full stop, but then accelerates again toward a second stop. This stop-go cycle is repeated several times before the object reaches the bottom. We show that common shear thickening or linear viscoelastic models cannot account for the observed phenomena, and propose a minimal jamming model to describe the behavior at the bottom
Original languageEnglish
Article number060401
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • METIS-284022
  • IR-78775


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