Silly Putty (originally called nutty putty) is a silicone plastic "clay", sold as a toy for children by Binney & Smith Inc.. It was created as a scientific accident when scientists in the United States were trying to find a substitute for rubber during World War II.
Silly Putty is sold as a 0.47 oz (13 g) piece of plastic clay inside an egg-shaped plastic container. It is an example of an inorganic plastic (polymer). It has many unusual characteristics. When pressed on comics or other newspaper pages, the loose ink transfers to the Silly Putty, which is then able to be stretched out. It bounces, showing its rubber qualities. It breaks when you give it a sharp blow. It can flow like a liquid when it is slowly stretched and will "melt" into a puddle over a long enough period of time, and so shows properties of non-newtonian liquids.
- Explanations from the Official Website of Silly Putty
- Full story at MIT's Invention Dimension: Silly Putty page
- Various scientific experiments done with Silicone Putty
- American Chemical Society "What's that stuff?" page about Silly Putty
- Dropping a 50lb beach ball-sized sphere of Silly Putty off a parking garage (pics and video) Archived 2006-12-21 at the Wayback Machine