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Viscosity

The material property that measures a fluid's resistance to flowing. For example, water flows from a tilted jar more quickly and easily than honey does. Honey is more viscous than water, so although gravity creates nearly the same stresses in honey and water, the more viscous fluid flows more slowly.

Isaac Newton is credited with first suggesting a model for the viscous property of fluids in 1687. Newton proposed that the resistance to flow caused by viscosity is proportional to the velocity at which the parts of the fluid are being separated from one another because of the flow. Although Newton's law of viscosity is an empirical idealization, many fluids, such as low molecular weight liquids and dilute gases, are well characterized by it over a large range of conditions. However, many other fluids, such as polymer solution and melts, blood, ink, liquid crystals, and colloidal suspensions, are not described well by Newton's law. Such fluids are referred to as non-newtonian.