Viscosity

by Staff Writer - A. Heinzman | June 14, 2012

In everyday terms, viscosity can be described as representing the specific thickness of a particular fluid. For example, water is a fluid that has a low viscosity. Conversely, ketchup is a liquid that has a high viscosity.

In technical terms, viscosity is a measure of resistance shown in a fluid being deformed by stress. Most real fluids show a resistance to stress and are therefore viscous. In a practical setting, viscosity is used to describe the characteristics of liquids encountered in everyday life. For example, liquids that pour quickly may be considered liquids with low viscosities. Consequently, liquids that pour slowly may be considered liquids with high viscosities. Viscosity in wine is affected by the addition of pectinolytic enzymes. A telltale sign of a wine with a high viscosity are legs forming when the wine is swirled in the wineglass.

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