Validating The Viscosity Of Different Liquids

5872 words - 23 pages


The aim of this extended experimental investigation was to validate the viscosities of three different liquids (Corn syrup, olive oil and water), through the use of experiments outlined in this report.

The purpose of our project was to model the fluid flow over a sphere in a viscous fluid, and to design and carry out an experiment to test this model. This is a classical problem in fluid dynamics, and the experimental solution is useful for measuring viscosity in many industrial applications.
Our system consisted of metal balls falling through glycerin under the force of gravity. The first goal was to determine the dependence of a ball’s terminal velocity on its radius. Our second goal, if possible, was to determine how the acceleration of a ball to terminal velocity from rest depended on the radius.


Setting up the experiment:

1.Set up three the test tubes on a flat surface in front of a white wall or white backdrop.
2.Pour water into one test tube, corn syrup into the other and olive oil into the third, making sure that each of the liquids are filled up to the same level on the test tubes.
3.Set up a camera on a stand and place in front of the three test tubes.
4.Place two rulers across all three test tubes and place a marble between them over each test tube. The marbles must be all of the same size.
5.Press record on the camera then take away one of the rulers so that all three marbles drop at the same time into the liquids.
6.Stop the recording on the camera.
7.Take the marbles out of the test tubes by using a rod with a scoop on the end.
8.Repeat steps 1-6 for all three of the different sized marbles.

Recording the data:

1.To record the times it took for each of the three different sized marbles in each of the three types of liquids to reach terminal velocity; Windows Media Player was used. When the marbles passed equal distances on the test tubes in the same amounts of time one could tell that terminal velocity was reached. Terminal velocity could then be calculated by dividing the distance that the marble had passed down the test tube just before it reached terminal velocity divided by the time displayed at this time on the Windows Media Player.


See Fig 1 on page _ for a photo of materials outlined below.

2 rulers (30cm in length)

3 test tubes (all the same height and width; 250mL)

3 groups of 3 different sized marbles

1 camera

1 camera stand

Olive oil (500mL)

Corn syrup -Karo (375mL)

Water (250L)

Rod with a scoop (handmade)

Fig 1: Materials used in the experiment excluding camera and handmade rod with scoop


The five videos that show the three different sized marbles falling through the liquids are on a USB stick attached to this report.

Video 1-showing the marbles of 6×10-03 m radii falling through each of the three different liquids

Video 2- showing the marbles of 7.5×10-03 m radii falling through each of the three different liquids

Video 3- showing the marble of...


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