Hamed Nilforoshan & Sydney Lehman 5/24/2012 Orange

The Relationship between the Viscosity and Temperature of a Liquid
Introduction: One of the most significant results of plate tectonics, which poses a huge threat to humans around the globe, is volcanic eruptions. Volcanic eruptions are the building up of magma, partially melted rock from beneath the Earth’s surface with a high plasticity, within a magma chamber underground over an extended period of time (1). Magma chambers exist underneath volcanoes, which are structures that eventually provide an opening for the magma from the magma chamber to pass through, when it can no longer handle all of the pressure of the magma gathered up underneath it (1). As a volcano erupts, it is classified by how explosive it is, which primarily relates to the properties of the volcano’s magma, specifically its viscosity. The viscosity of magma, a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow, depends on how the molecules in the fluid interact. If the molecules can easily flow by eachother, then the substance has a low viscosity, and if the molecules cannot flow easily and have a lot of friction, than the substance has a high viscosity (2). In order to be explosive, the magma needs to be very viscous, which traps more gases inside the pent up magma, increasing pressure in the magma chamber and thus the force with which its contents are ejected. Conversely, a non-explosive (quiet) explosion has magma that is of a low viscosity and allows gases to escape so there is less pressure when the volcano does erupt. There are many factors that influence the viscosity of magma, such as its silica (SiO2) content, which is known to be found in large quantities within magma that is highly viscous, and less in non-viscous magma. However, other factors, such as temperature may also influence the viscosity of not just magma, but any liquid in general. This is because temperature influences the

. one cold. It has been hypothesized that as temperature decreases. To ensure accuracy. one warm. of what the relationship between the viscosity of magma. held in place by a magnet so that air bubbles were allowed to come up to the top of the tube. three water baths. molecules within a liquid become more compact and move to be closer together. After being immersed in each respective water bath. increasing friction and resisting the flow of the liquid. First. or any plastic solid or liquid. two rubber O-rings were measured onto each of the tubes to be exactly 16 cm apart by a ruler. the speed of the ball in each oil tube was calculated based on the average time of the three trials for each oil tube. each tube was held vertically so that the steel ball was directly below the white ball at the top of the tube. and stopped when it completely dropped past the bottom of the next O-ring. and how temperature can influence the explosiveness of a volcanic eruption. for each water bath. Methods: In order to perform this lab. as well as a steel and white ball. Finally.Hamed Nilforoshan & Sydney Lehman 5/24/2012 Orange molecular structure of a substance. and temperature is. three trials were performed for each oil tube at each temperature and were repeated for all oil tubes. and one at room temperature were needed along with 3 different colored oil tubes containing different substances. the extreme ends of viscosity’s spectrum. the time being recorded in a data table. the steel ball was released and a stopwatch was started when the white ball was just beneath the nearest O-ring. Next. and any objects that may pass through it. viscosity will increase because as temperature decreases. which is also the difference between a solid and a liquid. The possibility that temperature may have the potential to impact the viscosity of magma poses an interesting question.

1 = ~2. producing the resulting velocity of the marble in the liquid. Graph #1 Calculations: Calculations Trial 1: 5.1 seconds average 16/6.59 seconds Trial 3: 5. the velocity of each tube’s marble (cm/seconds). is graphed according to how cold the tube’s surroundings were.93 = 18.Hamed Nilforoshan & Sydney Lehman 5/24/2012 Orange Results: In Graph #1.93 seconds 5. Discussion: .8 + 6.8 seconds Trial 2: 6.59 + 5.32 18. 1 being the warmest and 3 being the coldest.63 cm/s Explanation Data recorded for the 3 trials of the red tube in the room-temperature container All trial times added together (Step #1 of averaging) Total divided by # of trials (3) (Step #2 of averaging) The distance the marble had to travel is divided by how long it took.32/3 = 6.

However. and that of the blue tube was lowest. the velocity of the red tube’s marble was highest. the liquid surrounding an object like a marble will part much slower as the object tries to force its way through it. or a fluid’s resistance to flow. When velocity is calculated. it would have taken longer for the marble to pass through. Observing the data shows that for each water bath. can be related to the time it took for the marble to pass through. black. To be able to observe viscosity. it was necessary to time each test tube several times. because as a liquid’s resistance to flow increases. consequently decreasing the velocity of the marble. it first needs to be established that the average velocity of an object passing through a liquid is relative to the liquid’s viscosity. which permits objects to pass through the tube in a shorter amount of time. with the black tube falling in between. this is because a high velocity present within the tube equates to a low viscosity belonging to the tube’s substance. but generally 1 cm/second slower when compared to the red rube. to then average these results and calculate the marble’s velocity. and then blue.Hamed Nilforoshan & Sydney Lehman 5/24/2012 Orange To consider the results of the lab relevant to temperature’s effect on viscosity. resulting in higher velocities belonging to the less viscous liquids. if a tube contained a viscous liquid. Viscosity. . the distance that the marble had to pass through is divided by the time it took to pass. which will then increase the time it takes for the object to pass through the liquid (3). restraining its motion. Additionally the ball in the red tube always moved between 1-2 cm/second faster than that of the blue tube. graphed according to tube color (substance) and the coldness of the water bath the tubes were immersed in (see Graph #1). Combined with the fact that the marble passed through the black tube at rates up to ~1 cm/second higher than it did for the blue tube. allowing it to be concluded that when ordered by viscosity (from least to highest). because a less viscous liquid will allow an object to pass through in a shorter amount of time. the tubes would be in the order of: red. As mentioned before.

by observing each of the individual test tubes. clinging together and developing friction. as friction between the molecules decreases (4).Hamed Nilforoshan & Sydney Lehman 5/24/2012 Orange However. This is because the previous conclusion was made based on situations where temperature was uniform. the molecules of the liquid will be energized and spread further apart. In fact. further supporting the hypothesis. allowing the liquid’s flow to be resisted which makes it highly viscous (4). three supporting sets of data can be found. This means that if this tube’s liquid was present within a volcano. 0. molecules have much less energy and move closer to eachother. making a liquid more fluid and flow-able. the question of temperature’s relation to viscosity has been left unanswered. As the graph (Graph #1) shows. it can be concluded that a decrease in temperature does in fact bring an increase in viscosity. the velocity of the marble in all three colors of tubes decreases with the temperature. by demonstrating the gradual decrease in velocity (increase in viscosity) present as temperature fell in all tubes. when a liquid is cold. On the other hand. which enables the molecules to move. meaning that the hypothesis for the lab is fully supported by its data. the most highly viscous oil is that of the blue tube. particularly within the coldest water bath. . This makes sense because when a liquid is at a high temperature. and the change that occurs for their viscosity (the slowness of the marble’s velocity) in different water baths. where the marble’s velocity was the absolute least (~.5-2 cm/second were lost from the velocity of the marble passing through the tube in a warm water bath. Moreover. when a tube containing the same liquid was placed in a cold water bath. the velocity of all three substances within a room-temperature water bath fell right in between those of the cold and warm water baths on Graph #1. Based on the decrease in velocity of the three separate tubes as temperature decreased. However. for each tube.5 cm/second) and viscosity was the highest. which was exactly what was already hypothesized. According to the data.

the two non-room-temperature water baths will eventually return back to room temperature. such as CO2 inside of it. This is because a viscous liquid is firm enough to trap the most gases. which is aided by the gases that are pushing in every direction to escape. then their perspective will change and the amount of time that it is perceived for the white ball to travel to the destination could seem too little or too much. which cause an eruption to be explosive when a volcano does erupt. Although this lab did produce what seemed to be logical results. It is the gases within the magma. it would by far cause the most explosive eruption. the data could still be faulty because of the lack of specificity of the measurement of when the white ball is just beneath the O-ring and when the white ball is completely past the following O-ring. . the differences in viscosity may not have been drastic enough to be noticed. High pressures within a magma chamber can cause an explosive eruption because they allow ash/tephra to be ejected with more force out of the volcano. one flaw of the lab was that over time. that is. as it grows within a volcano’s magma chamber. If the person who is recording this data moves. combined with high pressures.Hamed Nilforoshan & Sydney Lehman 5/24/2012 Orange and did erupt. that cool temperatures will compact a liquid’s molecules enough to slow down movement and cause high viscosity. and can also support higher pressures. partially because it will not allow gases to move at high velocities. there are still some potential sources of error within the lab. but cannot until the last minute due to the magma’s high viscosity. so if the lab was set up long before it was performed. Furthermore. For example. although the experiment was repeated three times for each tube to ensure accuracy.

01258 0.Hamed Nilforoshan & Sydney Lehman 5/24/2012 Orange Appendix: Main Data: Trial # Red Blue Black Room Temp Warm Temp Cold Temp Time 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 5.64 29.86393089 1.48 Average Velocities Temp: Room Red 2.shtml>.09 18. Print.8 29.8 6.76 18.7296 1. Wilborn.16 8.03 8.wisegeek.6279 Resources: 1.3 24. 2012." ThinkQuest. NJ: Prentice Hall.8 7.59 12.5438 1. Martin. and C.56 12.09 15. and Frederick K. "Types Of Eruptions. Edward J.thinkquest.11 4. 24 May 2012.htm>. 2.org/C003603/english/volcanoes/typesoferuptions. Web.edu/gchelp/liquids/problems/viscosity_ex3. 3.15 13.5 12." Viscosity Example 3.42 Black 12. Web.76 Average Times: Temp: Room Warm Cold Red 6.. 26 Apr. <http://library.93 4. C.chem.18 12. "What Is Velocity?" WiseGeek.html>.21 24. Oracle Foundation.61865794 Black Warm Cold 3.2718601 2. Web. 24 May 2012. <http://www..29 13.28 24. 4.12 26.com/what-is-velocity. Earth Science.26582 0.58 7.1914 Blue 0.4 3 13.25 18. 24 May 2012. Upper Saddle River.43 Blue 18.52 12. <http://www. "Viscosity Example 3.59 5.59 4.purdue.09 12.68 32. Tarbuck. Lutgens.76 11.95 25.03 4. . 1997. Conjecture.