Viscosity is defined as a measure of resistance to flow which arises dues to internal friction between layers of fluid as they slip past one another while liquid flows.

Why can't we say that viscosity is a property of solids as well? Except, it would then be said that solids have infinite viscosity.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why, of course you can. It won't even be infinite, just very large. Think of the flowing glaciers or the Pitch drop experiment. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Sep 13 '16 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ And to confuse the issue further, there are non-newtonian fluids, such as mayonnaise (which becomes less viscous on stirring), and "oobleck' (corn-starch in water, which behaves as a solid under pressure). And glasses, solids for all practical purposes, which never actually crystallize... $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Sep 13 '16 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanNeretin, That's the definition given in my book( NCERT Chemistry Class11)..so it got me wondering.. At the same time, the Pitch drop experiment , that you've mentioned, is for highly viscous liquids, but ultimately not a solid.Right? $\endgroup$ – Jamil Ahmed Sep 14 '16 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ True, bitumen might be considered a highly viscous liquid, but what about ice? It is as solid as solid can be; it is crystalline. And yet glaciers flow to the ocean. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Sep 14 '16 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanNeretin ,don't know much about the flowing glaciers, but isn't it something like ice flowing on water, instead of viscosity of ice itself $\endgroup$ – Jamil Ahmed Sep 14 '16 at 10:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.