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Physical Science of Water

Author(s): David R. Caprette, PhD

Cohesion and Viscosity

The tendency of a liquid substance to keep its shape, to be “sticky,” or to exhibit cohesion is called viscosity. 

The viscosity of water makes sense if something about individual water molecules causes them to “stick” to each other. What is special about water, compared to oils and alcohols, that makes it so viscous?