I have even had the experience of explaining What is Rheology rheology to the guests at a wedding reception. “Oh, you’re writing a book, says Patankar, a Anyway? theatre director and friend of the bride. What is it about?” An answer for your baffled family and friends “It’s a college textbook called Understanding Prof. Faith A. Morrison Rheology.” Then the predictable question. Michigan Technological University “What’s rheology?” When the hotel clerk at The Society of Rheology Meeting asks me “What is rheology anyway?”, I Since we had time before the dancing resumed have a ready answer I could use: “Rheology is and Patankar appeared to be truly interested, I the study of and flow.” This is true, went beyond the desk‐clerk version and but such an answer would not usually be explained a bit more about rheology. followed by a light‐bulb moment for the friendly “You know how with mayonnaise, when you staff member. first open the jar there’s a little curl of mayo at Instead, I say, “Rheology is the study of the flow the top, left over from when the jar was filled, of materials that behave in an interesting or months or years ago. Or when you open a partly unusual manner. Oil and water flow in familiar, used jar of mayonnaise, how the shape of the normal ways, whereas mayonnaise, peanut top surface is distorted by whoever last made a butter, , bread dough, and sandwich.” “That is odd,” Patankar concurs. “What’s the flow in complex and unusual ways. In rheology, “True,” said Patankar. we study the flows of unusual materials.” difference between mayo and ? If “Well, compare that observation with the anything, honey seems thicker to me than “Oh,” the desk clerk replies. “Interesting. I behavior of honey. The top surface of honey in mayonnaise, so the honey should have a harder thought it might have something to do with a jar is always smooth. Within a few seconds of time flowing than the mayo.” religion or something – rheology‐theology – it’s serving yourself from a honey jar, the surface is Profound differences in rheological properties so similar.” flat again – it is able to flow and become flat are noticeable in foods such as mayonnaise and quite rapidly, while the mayo, even after “True. It’s a common mix‐up. Especially for me, honey. since my name is Faith.” We both smile. months, fails to flow, and retains the last shape carved into it by a knife.” “Good observation. You’ve just noticed a key point about studying unusual flow behavior. Normal can be different in the sense that Institute of . The Society of Rheology Appeared in: some are thicker than others – in scientific was officially formed on December 9, 1929, the Rheology Bulletin, 73(1) January 2014. terms some fluids have higher than outgrowth of a burgeoning interest in the The Industrial Physicist 10(2) April/May, pp 29‐ others. But other than having different behavior of colloidal materials, including 31 (2004). viscosities, all normal or Newtonian fluids (air, interest in the flow behavior of newly water, oil, honey) follow the same scientific discovered synthetic rubbers and . laws. On the other hand, there are also fluids The object of The Society of Rheology is the that do not follow the Newtonian flow laws. advancement of rheology and its applications, These non‐Newtonian fluids, for example mayo, and to that end the SOR sponsors yearly , molten , , clays, and many meetings and publishes the Journal of Rheology other fluids, behave in a wide variety of ways. and the Rheology Bulletin. The Journal of The science of studying these types of unusual Rheology, a peer‐reviewed scholarly materials is called rheology – rheo‐ from the publication, appears six times per year. Greek word for ‘flow’, and ‐ology meaning ‘study of’.” The SOR is an all‐volunteer society, and it has always attracted many able members ______“Wow,” said Patankar. “You just taught me interested in maintaining the high quality of its something about rheology!” journal and of its activities. Membership in The I smiled. “Not so unfamiliar is it? Want to read Society of Rheology is open to anyone whose my book?” work and interests lie within the field of rheology. “No thanks,” he said with a smile. “Just a taste of rheology is enough for me.”

Anyone who has cooked or baked or played in a sandbox or in a bubble bath has experimented Dr. Faith A. Morrison is Professor of Chemical with rheology. The scientists who study the , Michigan Technological University. mathematical relationships that describe the She is the author of Understanding Rheology behavior of non‐Newtonian fluids are called (Oxford, 2001), and An Introduction to rheologists, and 1700 of them from around the Mechanics (Cambridge, 2013) and is the editor world are members of The Society of Rheology of the Rheology Bulletin and sits on the Board (SOR; on the web at www.rheology.org/sor/), a of Directors of the American Institute of Physics. founding member society of the American