How flow shapes bacterial biofilms

EPFL biophysicists have taken a systematic look into how bacterial biofilms are affected by fluid flow. The findings can give us clues about the physical rules guiding biofilm architecture, but also about the social dynamics ...

Painless skin patch collects fluid for diagnostic testing

Although blood contains a wealth of potential biomarkers of disease, it can be challenging to obtain and analyze. There's the anxiety patients experience when a large needle has to be stuck into a vein, and for many tests, ...

No assumptions needed to simulate petroleum reservoirs

Hidden deep below our feet, petroleum reservoirs are made up of hydrocarbons like oil and natural gas, stored within porous rock. These systems are particularly interesting to physicists, as they clearly show how temperature ...

Researchers crack an enduring physics enigma

For decades, physicists, engineers and mathematicians have failed to explain a remarkable phenomenon in fluid mechanics: the natural tendency of turbulence in fluids to move from disordered chaos to perfectly parallel patterns ...

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In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, no matter how small. Fluids are a subset of the phases of matter and include liquids, gases, plasmas and, to some extent, plastic solids.

In common usage, "fluid" is often used as a synonym for "liquid", with no implication that gas could also be present. For example, "brake fluid" is hydraulic oil and will not perform its required function if there is gas in it. This colloquial usage of the term is also common in medicine and in nutrition ("take plenty of fluids").

Liquids form a free surface (that is, a surface not created by the container) while gases do not. The distinction between solids and fluid is not entirely obvious. The distinction is made by evaluating the viscosity of the substance. Silly Putty can be considered to behave like a solid or a fluid, depending on the time period over which it is observed. It is best described as a viscoelastic fluid. There are many examples of substances proving difficult to classify. A particularly interesting one is pitch, as demonstrated in the pitch drop experiment currently running at the University of Queensland.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA