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Surface tension and surface energy

Feb 12, 2014

The interfacial tension of a liquid to the air interface is termed surface tension. This is the energy which is required to bring a particle from inside a liquid to the air interface. The surface of the liquid is enlarged. Attractive forces act between the molecules of the liquid. Inside the liquid, these forces cancel each other as they act uniformly in all directions. At the interface, the resulting force is oriented towards the interior of the liquid; the liquid tries to reduce its surface area. Ideally, the liquid adopts a spherical shape, because this is the lowest surface or interfacial area for a particular volume. In general, the force acting on the surface (interfacial tension) causes liquids to try to have the minimum surface.

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