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The measure of the internal friction of a fluid is defined as viscosity. This friction
takes place when a layer of fluid moves in relative to another layer. As the friction
increases, the amount of force needed to cause this movement also increases.
Considering two layers of a fluid dL cm apart(Figure 2)and each of these two layers
has the area of A sq cm. Assume the top layer is moving parallel to the bottom layer
at a velocity of dU cm/sec relative to the bottom layer, then the force needed to
maintain the velocity dU cm/sec is F dynes. Based on the experimental measurements
it has been observed that the force, F is directly proportional to area, A while the
velocity gradient dU is inversely proportional to the distance dL. This can be
expressed mathematically as:
F (1)

The proportionality constant  is called the viscosity of the medium. By rearranging it

we obtain
( F / A)
 (2)
(dU / dL)

Shear stress

Shear rate

The term (F/A) is known as the shear stress,denote the force per unit area required
when producing shear action,to move the intermediate layer with a velocity dU at
distance dL apart.The term (dU/dL) is known as the shear rate,whereby the liquid
experiences shearing under stress.

Figure 2