What is Viscosity?

2021-07-21T14:17:27-06:00
07/21
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Honey pours slower than water, but why?

The term may be unfamiliar, but we all have a sense for viscosity. We often think of it colloquially as the “thickness” of a fluid. It’s the property that makes honey pour so differently from water. Fluid dynamicists – scientists and engineers who study how liquids and gases move – tend to think of viscosity in terms of a fluid’s resistance to flowing or changing its shape.

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What is Viscosity?2021-07-21T14:17:27-06:00

Ketchup and oobleck and slime, oh my!

2021-04-21T14:08:43-06:00
04/21
Kids, like many of us, love playing with non-Newtonian fluids. Photo by tookapic/Pixabay.
Kids, like many of us, love playing with non-Newtonian fluids. Photo by tookapic/Pixabay.
What is a Non-Newtonian Fluid?

Why do so many fluids behave counterintuitively? Many substances in our lives – like oobleck, slime, or Silly Putty – don’t quite behave the way we expect a fluid to, despite some fluid-like properties. These substances fall into a special category: non-Newtonian fluids. Scientifically, this term is a bit of a catch-all for any substances that have a complicated relationship between their apparent viscosity and the force applied to them.

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Ketchup and oobleck and slime, oh my!2021-04-21T14:08:43-06:00

What is Surface Tension?

2021-07-14T11:21:07-06:00
11/11
Water droplets atop a coin form a flattened spherical shape due to surface tension. Photo by Nicole Sharp.
Water droplets atop a coin form a flattened spherical shape due to surface tension. Photo by Nicole Sharp.
What is Surface Tension?

Surface tension is a somewhat peculiar force. Its effects are all around us, from bubbles and droplets to cleaning our dishes. Surface tension is an important force in our daily lives. But what is it really? Since it tends to act at the scale of millimeters or smaller, we don’t always notice it. It’s critical, however, for many creatures smaller than us, from water-walking insects to star-nosed moles that sniff out food underwater. So what is surface tension and where does it come from?

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What is Surface Tension?2021-07-14T11:21:07-06:00

How to Make a Giant Bubble

2021-07-14T10:43:02-06:00
03/05
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Soapy Science

For the past two decades, giant bubble enthusiasts have been creating soap film bubbles of ever-increasing volumes. As of 2020, the world record for a free-floating soap bubble stands at 96.27 cubic meters, a volume equal to about 25,000 U.S. gallons! For a spherical bubble, this corresponds to a diameter of more than 18 feet and a surface area of over 1,000 square feet. How are such large films created and how do they remain stable? What is the secret to giant bubble juice? Click to find out more!

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How to Make a Giant Bubble2021-07-14T10:43:02-06:00
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