Faculty Publications

Title

Stokes' dream: Measurement of fluid viscosity from the attenuation of capillary waves

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American Journal of Physics

Volume

78

Issue

11

First Page

1165

Last Page

1169

Abstract

The determination of viscosity from the attenuation of capillary waves was first suggested by Stokes more than a century ago. At the time, it was not practical to measure the attenuation of surface waves with the requisite precision to render the method useful. We describe a noncontact method for measuring the wavelength and amplitude of single-frequency capillary waves to obtain reliable values of the surface tension and viscosity. The attenuation data for several glycerin-water mixtures are used to obtain the viscosity as a function of glycerin concentration. For a wide range of viscosity, the method yields results that are in good agreement with the most reliable published data. © 2010 American Association of Physics Teachers.

Original Publication Date

10-21-2010

DOI of published version

10.1119/1.3467887

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