Sample Essay on How Increase in Temperature Affects Viscosity of a Liquid

Viscosity of a Liquid

To understand how increase in temperature affects viscosity of a liquid, it is important to know what temperature and viscosity are first. Temperature is the numerical measure of cold and hot. Measurement of temperature is done by detecting heat radiation, kinetic energy, particle velocity and thermometric material behavior. Temperature can be calibrated in different temperature scales including Kelvin, Fahrenheit and Celsius.

On the other hand, viscosity is the measure of the level of resistance to flow of a liquid. It is the stickiness and thickness of a liquid. To determine viscosity of a liquid, you need to consider the time that it takes to flow through a viscometer tube. Viscometer tube is the instrument that is used in measuring viscosity while thermometer measures temperature.

For instance, viscosity of honey is higher than that of water at room temperature. This makes water to flow more freely as compared to honey due to its high viscosity. This can be explained by the structure of the two substances. The molecular structure of honey is more complex than that of water. This gives honey higher viscosity. The molecular structure of water is simple and it comprises of oxygen and hydrogen bonds only while honey has complex bonds of sugars.


Increase in temperature affects viscosity of a liquid by impacting on its molecular structure. When temperatures are increased, the liquid is heated up. This excites the molecules and they start moving rapidly. It is important to note that under normal circumstances, the tiny particles called the atoms that are the basic components of any matter are always moving. The atoms form the molecules of the liquid and when heated, they start moving faster than normal.

The energy that is caused by increased temperature makes the molecules move at a faster rate to a level where they overcome the bonds or the binding forces of the molecules. This makes the liquid more fluid decreasing its viscosity. For instance, when honey is cold its viscosity is high and it flows slowly. However, when heated its molecular structure is broken and it flows faster due to the increased viscosity. Honey can pour faster when hot than when cold.

Thus, dependence of the viscosity of liquid on temperature is a phenomenon whereby the viscosity of liquid decreases with increasing temperature. Alternatively, fluidity of any liquid tends to increase with increasing temperature. A good example is how cooking oil moves more fluidly when put on a hot frying pan because heat decreases its viscosity.

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