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illustrations: Bill Watterson

The 2017 Ig Nobel Prize for physics went to Marc-Antoine Fardin’s paper, On the Rheology of Cats, which looked into the fluid dynamics of cats in order to determine whether cats can flow like liquids.

Rheology: the branch of physics that deals with the deformation and flow of matter, especially the non-Newtonian flow of liquids and the plastic flow of solids.

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You know, people think mathematics is complicated. Mathematics is the simple bit. Its the stuff we can understand. Its cats that are complicated. I mean, what is it in those little molecules and stuff that make one cat behave differently than another, or that make a cat? And how do you define a cat? I have no idea — John Horton Conway

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How do you define a cat?

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