This number proves that nothing in the world is solidEsther Inglis-Arkell10/03/13 12:40pmFiled to: rheologygeologythe deborah numbersciencechemistry425EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalink One branch of science, rheology, has invented a dimensionless number. It's called the Deborah Number, and it is meant to quantify the motto of the science: "Everything flows." Put another way, everything in the world has liquid properties. Even mountains. AdvertisementRheology was created in 1928, the collaboration of an engineer, a chemist, and a professor of classical languages. It is the study of how matter flows, and meant to straddle the divide between chemistry and physics. Rheology was chosen by the linguist in order to keep from alienating either scientific discipline.Practically speaking, rheology studies the behavior of fluids of different viscosities, as well as the non-Newtonian fluids — like ketchup and snake venom — that flow freely only when put under certain mechanical stresses. But rheology's aim is far more ambitious than that. To define the scope of the science, its creators went down a path that doesn't always lead to the best results, and checked out the Bible.