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Practical Investigation Into Viscosity

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  • Essay length: 4711 words
  • Submitted: 18/08/2003
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GCSE Forces and Motion

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Practical Investigation Into Viscosity

Aim: To investigate the rate of descent of an object falling through a liquid due to gravity and the factors which affect the viscosity of the liquid.

Theory: Viscosity is the resistance a material has to change in form. This property can be thought of as an internal friction. Something which is very important when investigating viscosity is laminar flow. If a fluid or gas is flowing over a surface, the molecules next to the surface (the ones clinging to the walls) have zero speed. As we get farther away from the surface the speed increases. This difference in speed is a friction in the fluid or gas. It is the friction of molecules being pushed past each other. You can imagine that the amount of clinging-ness between the molecules will be proportional to the friction. This amount of clinging-ness is called viscosity. Thus, viscosity determines the amount of friction, which in turn determines the amount of energy absorbed by the flow.

Viscosity can be determined in the following way: Work is force times distance and it takes energy to do work whilst power is the energy times time. Imagine a school

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