• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

The effect of the temperature on the viscosity of the syrup.

Extracts from this document...


The effect of the temperature on the viscosity of the syrup

Aim: In this investigation I will be investigating the effect of temperature on the viscosity of golden syrup by measuring the rate of descent of a sphere through the syrup at different temperatures.

Viscosity is an internal property of a fluid that offers it resistance to flow. The flow of fluid involves different components of the fluid sliding against each other, as if they were in layers at different velocities. The ease at which the fluid flows is dependant on how easily the layers slide against each other. The lower the viscosity is the less the occurrence of friction between the layers as they slide against each other. Hence the easier the fluid flow. In contrast when there is a greater occurrence of friction between the layers, the flow of the fluid becomes more difficult to maintain and as a result they slide each other with less velocity, which gives it a higher viscosity.

Flow is harder to control in syrup whereas in water the flow is much simpler. Hence the syrup is more viscous than water.

In fluid the molecules move randomly. This includes the molecules which are at rest as well as those which are moving with a velocity. In addition to the random motion of the molecules a drift motion also occurs and it carries the molecules along with the flow. During the drift motion, molecules tend to move from layer to layer due to their random movement. Consequently for each molecule that shifts into another layer in one direction, another molecule will shift layer in the opposite direction. For instance, a molecule which is moving at high velocity layer shifts to an adjacent layer which flows with a lower velocity.

...read more.













At high temperature the viscosity of the syrup will be low. This is because the molecules gain energy at high temperature, which reduces the syrup’s resistance to flow, since the friction between the layers is also reduced. This is due to a gain in energy. As a result the molecules move at a higher velocity and drift motion occurs highly. This change increases the rate of flow, decreasing the viscosity of the syrup.

Lowering the temperature of the fluid increases the viscosity of the syrup. The molecules lose energy at lower temperature which in effect increases the syrup’s resistance to flow. This is due to the increased friction between the layers caused by the gain in energy. Consequently the molecules move with a low velocity, as the chances of a drift motion occurring also decreases. This change lowers the rate of flow of the syrup.

The preliminary work that I undertook and my understanding of the viscosity of fluid has enabled me to predict that as the temperature decreases the viscosity of the syrup will increase. So the value of viscosity be smallest at 500 and highest at 100, since the temperature I choose to investigate for this investigation lies between the ranges of 500 and 100.

Main experiment


  1. Measuring cylinder
  2. Sphere
  3. Weighing machine
  4. Ruler
  5. Graduated thermometer
  6. Micro meter
  7. Vernier calliper
  8. Stop watch



Measuring cylinder

To hold the syrup

Weighing machine

To weigh the syrup, sphere and measuring cylinder accurately so that the density can be calculated


To measure the length of how far the sphere travels, to calculate the velocity

Graduated Thermometer

To measure the temperature of the syrup from 50 – 500 degrees

Micro meter

To measure the radius of the sphere, which to be included in the calculation for density as well as for working out the viscosity

Vernier calliper

...read more.


0. This suggests the real value of viscosity at 50 will be higher than the result that I have obtained. As the temperature was increasing from 50 to 80 the velocity at which the sphere must have also increased which provides a smaller value of viscosity than the actual.   I say this because when the temperature increases the syrup flows with ease, which causes the sphere to travel with a higher velocity. To eliminate this error a water bath can be used.

A water bath would maintain a constant temperature as the sphere travels from the beginning till the end, equilibrating the total temperature of the syrup. The measuring cylinder must be contained in a transparent beaker, to allow me to observe the descent of the sphere.

Sources and Reference

PHYSICS For Advanced Level

By, Jim Breithaupt

Stanley Thornes


This book enabled me to understand the definition of viscosity and had widened my knowledge of viscosity by explaining how the properties of fluid link to the viscous of a fluid and how they function.


By, Keith Gibbs


I have found this book extremely useful since it has provided me the difference between laminar flow, turbulent flow and stream line.


This book has instructed me the forces that occurs when a sphere descend through the syrup.


From this web site I have found why the viscosity changes due to the change in the temperature, which helped me to provide the scientific evidence in my background knowledge as well as it has been very useful in my hypothesis.

www.spacegrant.hawaii.edu/class_acts/Viscosity Te.html

This web page has introduced the Stokes law which was the relevant formula to calculate the viscosity of the fluid. Therefore I have found this web page very useful and helpful.


This web site has also helped me to understand the laminar flow theory in depth.

Pauline Alagarajah

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays


    The weight downward also increases and the graph implies that this does so on a greater scale than the velocity and the radius. Hence, the time taken is less for a bigger ball bearing than for a smaller one. The resultant force acting on the ball bearing is given by: W-U-F The ball bearing continues accelerating downwards until: W-U-F=0.

  2. Viscosity - Comparing the viscosities of different liquids.

    1.84 1.46 1.56 Note: The reading painted in red seems to stand out from the other readings therefore it makes me believe its a wrong reading. Oil Distance (m) Time I (s) Time II (s) Time III (s) Average Time 0.4 0.33 0.38 0.32 0.34 0.4 0.35 0.36 0.38 0.36

  1. Practical Investigation Into Viscosity

    Jean Louis Poiseuille (1799 - 1869) While the viscosity of solids and liquids falls with temperature, the viscosity of a gas increases. While counter intuitive, the rise in gas viscosity as a function temperature can be understood. As a gas gets higher in temperature it has more collisions, and thus, more friction with its neighboring molecules.

  2. Squash Ball and Temperature Investigation

    and the ball seemed to produce a good bounce back height at 70cm also. But the teacher stated that the amount of inaccuracies (based on the range) was far to inconclusive and therefore would not help in deciding which height is best to test from.

  1. Practical investigation into Viscosity in liquids (Stokes Law).

    Angle of descent Finally the fourth experiment compared angles of which the ball bearing descended through a liquid. The results showed a greater angle to the vertical reduced the speed of decent through the liquid. Initial apparatus The following apparatus was used to complete the investigation: 2.2 metre plastic tube (colourless)

  2. Investigation into the effect of temperature on viscosity

    It will reach a point where all forces balance out in equilibrium and the object can no longer speed up, it travels at a constant speed. This is called the terminal velocity. Therefore care must be taken to allow the ball to reach terminal velocity before recording the time it

  1. The Area of a Parachute Compared To Its Rate of Descent

    0.6 1.58 0.13 1.50 4.49% 0.6 1.45 0.6 1.47 Evaluation - Procedure There were some fundamental problems with the fairness if the experiment, some of them I was able to overcome, some of them mattered so minutely that they did not need controlling, or I was not able to control them.

  2. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    Repeat from step 4 twice more so you end up with three results for the same height then continue onto step 9 9. Add all these results together and divide the answer by three to obtain the average. 10. Record this average in the table 11.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work