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Viscosity is the property of a fluid or semifluid that causes it to resist flowing. This resistance to flow is measurable due to the molecular tendency of fluids to adhere to each other to some extent. High-viscosity fluids resist flow; low-viscosity fluids flow easily.

Similar amounts of oil and water poured down two identical ramps demonstrate the difference in viscosity. The water seems to flow freely while the oil flows much more slowly. (An excellent website to demonstrate types of viscosity is found at the Cornell University website on viscosity)

Since molecular resistance to motion underlies viscosity, grease is very viscous because its molecules resist flow. Hot lava is another example of a viscous fluid. All fluids are viscous and have a resistance to flow whether this resistance is observed or not. Air is an example of a fluid whose viscosity can not be observed.

Since air has viscosity properties, it will resist flow to some extent. In the case of the rotating cylinder within an immersed fluid (oil, water, or air), the fluid (no matter what it is) resists flowing over the cylinder’s surface.