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When I place a glass of water on the table and hit the table from below I can clearly see ripples in the water with their center in the middle of the glass. However when I do the same with a glass filled with oil there are no ripples. The oil seems much more stable.

Why is this? This is exactly the opposite of what I would expect. Since the water has a higher surface tension than oil I would expect the water to be more stable.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe viscosity? $\endgroup$ – user93237 May 17 '17 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ @SamuelWeir Ah yeah thanks. Oil has a much higher viscosity than water. $\endgroup$ – macco May 17 '17 at 23:22
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    $\begingroup$ Oil does ripple, but less and slower (from identical impact), because of high viscosity. $\endgroup$ – Conifold May 18 '17 at 0:45
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The oil has a far higher viscosity than the water. Since this is a direct measure of the resistance to gradual deformation from a stress, the oil has far smaller ripples than the water for an equal forces - the ripples will also appear to propagate slower through the oil.

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