Just as all feline owners know that cats defy physics, all chef know that dry spaghetti noodles never break in half. Likewise, everybody knows that fixing an itch means scratching anywhere, as long as you’re looking in a mirror.
If you didn’t know these, then you must be missing out in life. To celebrate these types of glorious weirdness of science, there exists an annual event called the IG Nobel Prize which is hosted by the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR).
The presentation tone is goofy, but the science of the winning research is real. It also features “a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel laureates” and rewards the strangest science investigations.
Among the winning presentations — is that of a French physicist, Marc Antoine-Fardin, who studied the rheology — the flow of matter, whether liquid or solids — of cats, under certain conditions.
The Rheology of Cats
Fardin’s research has mathematically confirmed what many people have been suspecting for years. Cats are, in fact, liquid.
Liquid, says Fardin, is traditionally characterized by its ability to adapts its shape to fit a container. In this regard, cats certainly seem liquid.
“At the center of the definition of a liquid is an action: A material must be able to modify its form to fit within a container,” Fardin said.
Fardin also analyzed the “fluid dynamics” to determine whether cats can transition from solid to liquid state, as they squeeze themselves into too-small boxes. He considered the type of container and its degree of stress.
From his study, Fardin also claimed that cats clearly exhibit material fluidity of liquids. He came up with the conclusion after comparing two time periods: the length of relaxation time as opposed to the experimental time.
“The fact is that they (felines) can adapt their shape to their container if we give them enough time. Cats are thus liquid if we give them the time to become liquid.”
If you don’t agree yet, just look at this cat who thinks he’s a waterfall.
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