Monthly Archives: November 2014

Rheology Resources

It has been a fairly busy week! Since I took a good amount of time to work on a video introducing rheology for my Using Digital Media class at Stony Brook University (and I am not sure if I can post it because of some copyright issues), I will post some resources here about rheology. Before starting my PhD, I knew that scientists and engineers performed materials testing and I had thought that all was part of materials science. I did not know that there was a whole science dedicated to specifically how a material behaved after it was deformed and that materials could not be simply defined as being either a solid or liquid.

After the 5 weeks it takes to prepare my multicomponent hydrogels, I have to test it to study its mechanical properties since I am trying to increase its mechanical strength by varying the concentration of my gels. The primary tool that I use to study my gels is with a rheometer.

Rheology comes from the Greek word ‘rhein’ meaning ‘to flow.’ It is defined as the science of deformation and flow and helps to unify our study of all materials. We usually say that something is usually liquid or solid, and describe differences between liquids with differing degrees of viscosity (resistance to flow) and between solids with different elasticities (the tendency of solid materials to return to their original shape after being deformed). However, most materials can neither be solely defined as being either liquid or solid and lie in a spectrum between the two. These materials fall under the term viscoelastic and rheology can be used to study viscous, elastic and viscoelastic materials.

Since rheology is a interdisciplinary field that combines math, the physical sciences, engineering and medicine, it requires an understanding of how materials behave as well as a practical knowledge of how rheology can be used.

I have listed some sources below that I have found to be very useful:

The Rheology Handbook, Third Edition by Thomas G. Mezger

ISBN-13: 978-3866308640 ISBN-10: 3866308647

The following from Anton Paar’s e-learning,introduces the very basic principles of rheometry:

Faith Morrison’s Polymer Rheology Course and the iTunes videos of her lectures.

I also came across this gem, which is a lecture/demonstration by Hershel Markovitz in the 1950s:

After watching some of these films, I immediately felt a little jealous of all the demonstrations that were done in classes back then.

I will post an update when I find more useful resources. If you find any book, article, or video that can help us develop a better understanding of rheology, feel free to share below in the comments.

Thanks for checking back!

Scientific Publishing is an Art too!

Happy Monday!

One of the many worries that a PhD student like myself has is publishing my work in journals. Along with making sure we do well in our coursework, satisfy our teaching assistant assignments and doing good science, we have the added worry about when is a good time to publish (not getting scooped), where should we publish and how do we write?

Source: PhD Comics (c) Jorge Cham

Source: PhD Comics (c) Jorge Cham

While different PhD programs have different requirements for how many required articles each student needs to have published or accepted, it is a very good idea to get familiar with the process sometime along our journey.

This past week I came across an interesting editorial in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters: Mastering the Art of Scientific Publication: Twenty Papers with 20/20 Vision on Publishing, which is also organized into a special virtual issue.

In this editorial, the editors-in-chief identify and address the many questions we would have such as which journal to publish in, how to organize the writing so that it effectively tells the scientific story, demystifying the review process, the importance of writing and the use of figures and several other key components of paper writing.


Source: J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2014, 5 (20), pp 3519–3521 DOI: 10.1021/jz502010v

So whether or not you are just starting your PhD program, knee-deep in your research, ready to publish, or dealing with a draft that needs some revisions, be sure to check out their virtual issue!