Surface tension occurs due to the tendency of liquid molecules to favor their own kind. Surface tension is important in fluid multiphase systems typically at small length and velocity

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

54
votes
3answers
2k views

What causes insects to cast large shadows from where their feet are?

I recently stumbled upon this interesting image of a wasp, floating on water: Assuming this isn't photoshopped, I have a couple of questions: Why do you see its image like that (what's the ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Why doesn't rain fall down in streams (as opposed to drops)

Why is it that raindrops don't collide and 'stick together' on their descent to Earth, arriving in streams rather than separate drops?
22
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is the pressure inside a soap bubble higher than outside?

Apparently, the air inside a soap bubble is under higher pressure than the surrounding air. This is for instance apparent in the sound bubbles make when they burst. Why is the pressure inside the ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does a cork float to the side of a glass?

What is this physical phenomenon and when it's happen ? Please take a look at this picture: Link to picture Notice: This is a cork ball attracted to sides of a glass of water
18
votes
1answer
275 views

What are the equations of motion of a hole in a soap bubble?

Imagine the following situation: I have a thin stationary water film, like a soap bubble, suspended inside a large ring. I throw a small loop of string onto the film and punch a hole inside it. How ...
17
votes
2answers
428 views

Stripeless cleaning of windows

Cross post: http://chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/4377/22 Last week I was discussing with a friend how we thought the stripeless cleaning of windows is achieved when using a cleaner like Windex ...
14
votes
4answers
819 views

Why does string not wick down?

I regularly drink tea at work and I often reuse the tea bags (yes I know I'm a cheapskate). Yesterday afternoon I used a tea bag once and kept it in the cup in case I wanted another cup before I ...
12
votes
3answers
758 views

How to prevent water droplets becoming larger on the tip of a nozzle?

I use an ordinary syringe to generate a single water droplet. However, it is not usually able to make a droplet smaller than 1 mm (because of surface tension forces, inner diameter of needle, etc.) ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Are there any liquids with zero surface tension?

Having read the Wikipedia page on superfluids I'm still not sure if stuff like liquid helium at the lambda point actually have surface tension or not. Is superfluidity the same thing? And are there ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does water flow out of an upside-down bottle? (Rayleigh Taylor Instability)

I am currently reading the excellent book An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet by Francis F. Chen and I came across this explanation. The Rayleigh–Taylor Instability ...
9
votes
3answers
255 views

Surface energy as thermodynamic potential

Consider free energy of sharp interface $\Gamma$ $$ \int_\Gamma \sigma\;\mathrm{d}S $$ or also free energy of diffuse interface of characteristic width $\epsilon$ given by Cahn-Hilliard/Allen-Cahn ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

A cup of water in ZERO gravity

What will happen if I try to pour a cup of water in zero gravity, into another empty cup? Will the water come out of the cup? The adhesive force between the water molecules and the interior of the cup ...
8
votes
3answers
240 views

finding equation of a water droplet

I have a water droplet which is falling down through its gravity. I've supposed that my droplet is an ellipsoid and I want to find the equation that represents this ellipsoid in XYZ coordinate system. ...
8
votes
2answers
868 views

How much of the forces when entering water is related to surface tension?

When an object enters water with high velocity, (like in Why is jumping into water from high altitude fatal?), most of it's kinetic energy will be converted, eg to accelerate water, deform the object ...
8
votes
5answers
752 views

Zigzag flow of water along a vertical glass window

I've observed this behavior many times. When it rains, the rainwater will form vertical channels along a glass window. The flow of water is mostly confined within these vertical channels and the ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

physics of wet hair

I'm curious about the physics behind the clumping of wet hair. More specifically, how the amount of water in hair and distance between hairs affect the clumping process. I know intuitively that when ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How is the water meniscus at the edge of a capillary tube

Suppose we have a capillary tube in which water can rise to a height of x cm. If we dip the tube such that the height above the surface is less than x, then how will the water meniscus be at the edge ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Hydrostatic friction: why do water droplets stay at rest on an inclined glass surface?

Tjis is a non-expert question on a (seemingly simple) text-book topic. The question is about "hydrostatic friction", defined as follows. Consider a drop of water resting on a flat surface. If the ...
7
votes
5answers
293 views

Negative pressure, tension, and energy conditions

We have lots of common everyday experience with positive pressure, the canonical example is a gas. But other examples of positive pressure are easy to imagine: for instance, a solid that gets ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

How can a droplet of liquid float on the surface of the same liquid?

This can happen during the rain, or when pouring water. Sometimes small (1-2 mm) droplets of water float on the surface for some time (a few seconds) before coalescing with the big body of water. A ...
7
votes
2answers
313 views

Tension in string due to surface tension

Suppose you take a loop of string and place it on the surface of a liquid, the string should become taut due to surface tension. How would you be able to calculate the tension in the loop of string? ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to measure a solid-solid surface energy?

Many techniques exist to measure the surface energy between a liquid and a liquid or a liquid and a gas (see e.g. the wiki page). Methods to measure the surface energy between a solid and a fluid are ...
6
votes
3answers
692 views

What is the meniscus shape?

What is the shape of a meniscus? I suppose that the problem is very complex, but is the solution known at least for a liquid that wets the wall in a big vessel? (exponential, maybe?)
6
votes
1answer
99 views

What causes the 'tears' in yoghurt drinks?

Fluid dynamical instabilities are present in many different everyday things. The famous tears in wine for example are a classical example of a Marangoni effect, where surface tension gradients due to ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Does water have surface tension in a vacuum?

I could be totally wrong here but I was thinking about water surface and what creates that. My thought is it is the thin mixture of water and air separating the two. This mixture creates the boundary ...
6
votes
2answers
666 views

Hydrostatic pressure on a teapot spout

The phenomenon where water flows on the outside side of a teapot spout is named "The teapot effect", and occurs due to a difference in pressure between water and the atmosphere. Consider the image of ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Why does a bullet bounce off water?

It is known that bullets can ricochet off a body of water. Is surface tension responsible for this or is this the same behavior we see when an asteroid ricochets off the atmosphere? I don't think ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Foam patterns on espresso

When just prepared, an espresso has a thin layer of foam, known as crema, on its surface. As I move my drink from the bar to a table, the motion destroys the homogeneity of the layer, but I've noticed ...
6
votes
1answer
488 views

How does surface tension enable insects to walk on water?

I understand that water molecules at the surface have a net inward attraction due to the lack of water molecules above them. I've been reading a bunch of articles, and they say that this inward pull ...
6
votes
1answer
335 views

Why will two bubbles floating on water surface attract each other?

Two identical bubbles floating on water surface will form clumps, according to the "cheerio effect". But what's the detail about the force? It's necessary to calculate the shape of water surface, in ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Collision frequency at surfaces

Collision frequency for particles in gases is well known, and collision theory is used to derive chemical reaction rates in gases, (and particles in liquid solutions as well). Using the mean velocity ...
6
votes
2answers
753 views

Surface tension of solutions and mixtures

The inspiration for this question is over on cooking.stackexchange, asking more about actual measurements for commonly consumed liquids, but I'm interested more generally as well. What determines the ...
6
votes
0answers
391 views

Surface tension between water (liquid) methane (gas)

In my project I should calculate surface tension between water and methane with lammps. I write the program.I use SPC model for water and $l_j$ for methane and water - methane. But now I don't know ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

How far can water rise above the edge of a glass?

When you fill a glass with water, water forms a concave meniscus with constant contact angle $\theta$ (typically $\theta=20^\circ$ for tap water): Once you reach the top of the glass, the water-air ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the physics behind a soap bubble?

A soap bubble is an extremely thin film of soapy water enclosing air that forms a hollow sphere with an iridescent surface. What fluid dynamical process occurs during the popping of a soap bubble?
5
votes
3answers
147 views

Will a drop of liquid flow from from the wide opening to the narrow opening of a thin funnel by the effect of air pressure?

We have a funnel that is thin enough to keep a drop of liquid inside it as shown in this figure. Assuming that the funnel is placed on a horizontal table, will the drop flow from the left side to ...
5
votes
2answers
635 views

Can water pressure ever be high enough to trap gas bubbles or keep them from surfacing?

Can water pressure ever become high enough to trap gas bubbles and/or keep them from surfacing?
5
votes
1answer
383 views

Distinctive properties of liquids

The molecules are closely arranged in solids, loosely arranged in liquids and are free to move in gases... But, Why are liquids (especially water) exhibiting these distinctive properties such as ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Are coffee's properties different enough from water's to cause increased spillage while walking?

I recently found this article, which describes how... It just so happens that the human stride has almost exactly the right frequency to drive the natural oscillations of coffee, when the fluid is ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Cooking pasta: why does adding a lid lead to overflow?

When cooking pasta, some organic foam usually forms on the surface of the boiling water and the situation can be kept under control by adjusting the heat (and/or adding some oil). Covering the pot ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Dropping condition

Imagine opening a water tap in order to have a smooth and cylindrical outflow and then slowly decrease the flow by adjusting the knob. At a certain moment, the side profile of the flow will become ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

What are circles on broth (eating soup) surface?

Think about broth in the soup, usually it has circles on its surface. What are their properties? Why there are many of them (not a few big blobs)? Are they depended on liquid's temperature? What needs ...
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Increment of surface tension with increase of temperature

What is the reason for the increase in surface tension of molten copper/cadmium with increase in temperature?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Solving the Young-Laplace equation for arbitrary axisymmetric geometry

Say I have a non-ellipsoidal soap bubble and I want to numerically analyse the pressure in the inner lobe of this bubble here: The Young Laplace equation gives the pressure difference across a ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Surface Tension - Lung Alveoli

So, the way I understand this is as follows : The alveoli (pretend they're bubbles) have diameters of the order of microns implying a massive pressure required to inflate them by the Young-Laplace ...
5
votes
1answer
557 views

Lotus effect dust removal

I have found hundreds of papers describing the contact angle of water droplet sitting on hydrophobic surface and the change between Wenzel Regime and the Cassie-Baxter regime. Now, as I understand ...
5
votes
1answer
542 views

Finding Surface Tension of water at certain Temperature and Pressure

The question is: Using the Young-Laplace Equation (if applicable), find the surface tension (dynes/cm) for water at 20 degrees Celsius with 2.5 psi. Round to the nearest tenth. ...
4
votes
2answers
407 views

Viscosity and surface tension

Both viscosity and surface tension are dependent on the intermolecular forces between the molecules of the liquid. Supposing from this, shouldn't there be a directly proportional relationship between ...
4
votes
3answers
220 views

Why does a pitcher with lemon juice have foam, while one with pure water does not?

Whenever I pour water into lemon juice (pouring directly from the tap into the pitcher, not quietly along its edge) I get a foam on top: The same pitcher with water (same water tap, pitcher, time ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

where does the energy of water droplet go?

My experiment: I took a string (3 mm diameter and wet) and a water source (1 drops per 2 seconds). Then I attached the string to the water source. The string was then tied to ground Observation : ...