Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Comparing Water and Glycerol

  1. Sep 19, 2010 #1
    Just given in my physics Coursework and I wanted to see what you lot thought about my rather interesting results.

    Basically, I compared the vicosity and surface tension of both water and glycerol through a series of tests and was rather surprised at what I found. According to my results (and data books when I checked), water has a higher surface tension than glycerol, but glycerol is more viscous than water.

    Everything I have read on the internet and heard from Chemistry teachers is that both viscosity and surface tension are directly proportional to the amount of hydrogen bonds a molecule has, but obviously that cannot be the whole truth.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2010 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In short - all other things being equal the more hydrogen bonds, the higher the surface tension and viscosity. But obviously water and glycerol are too different for such a simple rule to be effective.
  4. Sep 20, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Polyethylene has almost no hydrogen bonding but is so much thicker than both.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook