Why Is Syrup Sticky?

Why Is Syrup Sticky?

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What exactly makes sugary syrups so sticky, when neither water nor sugar is very sticky on its own?

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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Script Editor: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Illustrator: Jesse Agar
Video Director: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Video Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert)
With Contributions From: Alex Reich, Henry Reich, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Ever Salazar
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:


Brown, T.L, LeMay, H.E., Bursten, B.E. (2006). Chapter 11: Intermolecular Forces, Liquids, and Solids. In Chemistry, The Central Science 10th edition. Retrieved from:

Elert, M., Personal Communication, July 2017.

Husband, T. (2014). The Sweet Science of Candymaking. Retrieved from:

Longinotti, M.P. & Corti, H.R. (2008) Viscosity of concentrated sucrose and trehalose aqueous solutions including the supercooled regime. Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, 37: 1503-1516.

Molinero, V., Cagin, T., Goddard, W.A. (2003) Sugar, water and free volume networks in concentrated sucrose solutions. Chemical Physics Letters, 377:469–474. Retrieved from:

Wang, L.P., Personal Communication, February 2017.

Xia, J., & Case, D. A. (2012). Sucrose in Aqueous Solution Revisited: 1. Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Direct and Indirect Dipolar Coupling Analysis. Biopolymers, 97(5), 276–288.

Image Credits:
Sugar – Melissa Wiese

Sugar beet field – Gilles San Martin

Sugar Cubes – David Pacey

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