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How to Measure Viscosity of Liquids
The frozen waffle you put in the toaster just popped out, but your maple syrup is still in the fridge. You squeeze the syrup container, but it takes forever to flow out of the bottle! Why?
This sticky situation illustrates a property of liquids called viscosity. Viscosity is the measure of how resistant a substance is to flowing. The slower a liquid flows, the higher its viscosity. Remember—a liquid is a state of matter that has a definite volume, but not a definite shape. You probably have a qualitative understanding of relative viscosities of different liquids, meaning you can describe them pretty well just by watching them. Scientists like to be quantitative when they describe something’s behavior—they use numbers! Can we find a way to quantitatively how much faster water flows than syrup?
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