Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

That Word You Heard: Thixotropic

It all comes together once you shake it.

By Lacy SchleyJune 12, 2018 5:00 AM
DSC-CR0818_03.jpg
Illustration by Chad Edwards

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Ketchup fan? Then you know you’ve got to shake that bottle of your favorite brand before you squeeze it onto your food of choice. Otherwise, you’ll be met with a watery mess followed by some gunky globs. That’s because ketchup — along with a whole host of other substances ranging from clay face masks to printing inks — is thixotropic. When it sits too long, lonely and unused on a diner table or in the dark abyss that is your refrigerator, the concoction separates and the tomato-y part thickens up, becoming more viscous. But when you shake it, everything mixes back up, thins out, and you’re good to go.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In