Viscosity is a physical property of fluids. It shows resistance to flow. In a simple example, water has a low viscosity, as it is "thin". Syrup and tar, on the other hand, have a high viscosity, as they are "thick". A way to test for viscosity is the speed at which the substance runs down a slope. Syrup would reach the bottom very slowly, whereas water would be a lot quicker.
Viscosity is used as a way to predict when volcanoes erupt. When the lava comes out very thickly (viscous), there is more chance that it will erupt violently. This is because the lava has a hard time getting out and may burst out when it can. If the lava is thin (low viscosity), then it just flows out like water.
- Elert, Glenn. "Viscosity". The Physics Hypertextbook.
- "What is Viscosity? (with pictures)". wiseGEEK.
- "viscous - Origin and meaning of viscous by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com.