Rheology--the study of the deformation and flow of matter--deals primarily with the stresses generated during the flow of complex materials including polymers, colloids, foams, and gels. A rapidly growing and industrially important field, it plays a significant role in polymer processing, food processing, coating and printing, and many other manufacturing processes. Designed as a main text for advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level courses in rheology or polymer rheology, Understanding Rheology is also an ideal self-teaching guide for practicing engineers and scientists who find rheological principles applicable to their work. Covering the most important aspects of elementary modern rheology, this detailed and accessible text opens with an introduction to the field and then provides extensive background chapters on vector and tensor operations and Newtonian fluid mechanics. It continues with coverage of such topics as: * Standard Flows for Rheology * Material Functions * Experimental Observations * Generalized Newtonian Fluids * Generalized Linear-Viscoelastic Fluids * Nonlinear Constitutive Equations * Rheometry, including rheo-optics Understanding Rheology incorporates helpful pedagogical aids including numerous problems for each chapter, many worked examples, and an extensive glossary. It also contains useful appendices on nomenclature, mathematical tools, predictions of constitutive equations, and birefringence.