Viscosity, Density, Friction, and Temperature

Viscosity, Density, Friction, and Temperature

Determining the viscosity of a common liquid, many different factors are applied to it. Viscosity is a resistance of a liquid, and how thick or thin the fluid is. (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par. 1). Density is the ratio of mass and volume (Wikipedia, Density, par 1). Fluid friction occurs when a solid object travels through a liquid or gas (Wikipedia, Density, par 1). Surprisingly, temperature has great effects on these factors. Although, not all liquids behave the same, referring to viscosity and temperature changes. These terms are often used everyday as scientists try to learn more and more about them. Viscosity, density, friction, and temperature are all very important terms that many people don't know about, but can be easily taught and known, for use in everyday lives.

Viscosity, is the measurement of any kind of resistance of a liquid (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par. 1). The resistance to flow in a fluid is in close terms to viscosity. Viscosity is measured by how thick or thin a liquid is (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par. 1). For an example, honey has a high viscosity because it is thick, unlike water or juice, whose viscosity is very low. There are many different viscosity coefficients, including dynamic viscosity and absolute viscosity, which are the more commonly used ones (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par. 3). To record the viscosity of a liquid, many use the viscosity formula. This formula says that viscosity equals, two, multiplied by delta, acceleration, and radius divided by nine, multiplied by the average viscosity (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par.1). In simpler terms, viscosity can be calculated by the time elapsed (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par.1). Delta is a special triangular sign, that is used in many mathematical problems around the world. As temperature goes down the viscosity goes up. Commonly, viscosity is thought of as friction inside a liquid, which means viscosity measures liquids. This term is called fluid friction. Viscosity is an important factor when measuring a resistance of a liquid, although density also plays a big part in this particular measurement.

The density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume (Wikipedia, Density, par. 1). All objects and materials have different densities. Density, is a measurement of how compact the inside a material is (Wikipedia, Density, par. 1). However, it is also a ratio of mass to volume (Wikipedia, Density, par. 1). This can be measured by how much matter is packed into a space (Wikipedia, Density, Par. 1). Finding out the density of an object can be very easy. This can be done by using a scale to find out the objects mass and then dividing that by the objects volume, is how to calculate density of an object (Wikipedia, Density, par. 4). Glass, stainless steel, water, and oils are just a few things that can be measured to find out the density (Wikipedia, Density, par. 2). You can change the density of something by changing temperature or pressure. By increasing the temperature, the density will decrease (Wikipedia, Density, par. 2). Also, by increasing the pressure, this can increase the density (Wikipedia, Density, par. 2). Density is a very important factor in today's science.

Friction is the force resisting motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, or material elements in contact (Wikipedia, Friction, par.1). Friction is also considered as an electromagnetic force between elements (Wikipedia, Friction, par. 2). Friction is commonly separated into different types of friction. For example, “fluid friction” expresses the friction between the different layers in a fluid or liquids that are in motion (Wikipedia, Friction, par. 1). Fluid friction occurs when a solid object travels through a liquid or gas. Factors that establish the amount of fluid friction on a solid is the viscosity of the fluid, the surface texture and the shape (Wikipedia, Friction, par. 2). While studying friction this may also tie into different temperatures.

What does temperature have to do with viscosity, friction, and density? Well, different temperatures can effect the viscosity of a liquid. For an instance, as temperature gets colder the viscosity of that liquid goes higher (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par.1). So opposite of that, if the viscosity goes down the temperature goes up. The influence that temperature has on friction is a bit different then the way it works with viscosity. The rising of temperature can grow the heat movement, although, because of thermal expansion, it sometimes makes the molecules bigger in their distance (Wikipedia, Friction, par.1). As many can see temperature has a big effect on viscosity, density and friction.

Do all liquids and gases perform the same when measuring the viscosity and when the temperature changes? This subject is said to usually vary, although, through testing, many can categorize liquids and gases, and tell whether they behave the same. For instance, gases of any kind at a common pressure, usually have a high viscosity as the temperature is raised (P G Wright, par.1). On the other hand, liquids have a much lower viscosity as the temperature is being raised (P G Wright, par.1). Compacted gases are also less viscous (P G Wright, par.1). Liquids like, liquid helium and liquid sulphur, have a range of temperature over which the viscosity increases as the temperature is raised (P G Wright, par.1). There are many different changes, in different liquids and gases, as the temperature changes, which can easily be measured.

Many would ask why all these terms are important, and what we use them for. For example, Volcanologists, people who study volcanoes, are interested in viscosity (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par. 2). Finding out the viscosity of molten rock and magma can establish how easily volcanoes will erupt (Wikipedia, Viscosity, par. 2). Volcanologists can also tell what shape the lava flows out from a volcano. Not only do Volcanologists test viscosity a lot but viscosity is very important to many others. Including, scientists, engineers, and doctors. For an instance, doctors try to keep viscosity of blood in the proper range for their patient. In a case where somebody's blood is too thick, they can be at risk of getting blood clots. They find this out by measuring viscosity.

After determining the viscosity of a fluid, it can sound and look complicated but in perspective, can be easy and fun. Viscosity is used by scientist worldwide and will always be tested on and learned more about resistance of a liquid. Density is also something that we actually use in our everyday lives. Throughout viscosity testing, friction is also learned more about. In almost every instance temperature effects these to factors, so many learn more about temperature to under stand the relationship it has with viscosity, density and friction. Though, temperature changes do not effect all liquids the same. Even though it may sound like these terms have nothing to do with each other, they all actually tie in perfectly.

Wright, PG. "The variation of viscosity with temperature." IOP Electrical Journals. July 1977. Web. Jan. 2010. <>.

"Viscosity." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Web. <>.

"Density." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Web. <>.

"Friction." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Web. <>.

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