Sunday, 8 January 2017

What is viscosity?

This question is often best answered by example. Imagine a styrofoam cup with a hole in the bottom. If I then pour honey into the cup I will find that the cup drains very slowly. That is because honey's viscosity is large compared to other liquids' viscosities. If I fill the same cup with water, for example, the cup will drain much more quickly.
Viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance to flow. It describes the internal friction of a moving fluid. A fluidwith large viscosity resists motion because its molecular makeup gives it a lot of internal friction. A fluid with low viscosity flows easily because its molecular makeup results in very little friction when it is in motion.
Gases also have viscosity, although it is a little harder to notice it in ordinary circumstances.

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