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  • Unified theory explains how materials transform from solids to liquids

    A large land snail with eyestalks and a slimy foot

    The mucus layer on the underside of a snail foot is one example of a soft material that yields to stress up to a certain point, then flows. This behavior, simplified in a new study from researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is what helps the snail move without unwieldy sliding, similar to that of many other natural and synthetic materials, from mud to the additives that make toothpaste flow when squeezed.

    Photo courtesy Rodrigo Quarteu


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  • Editor’s notes:

    To reach Simon Rogers, call 217-333-0020; email

    The paper “Unification of the rheological physics of yield stress fluids” is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.126.218002