Surface tension is apparent at liquid-gas interfaces, resulting from intermolecular forces. This would imply that it matters which molecules constitute the liquid and the gas phase. However, when I look at tabulated date for surface tension, often only the liquid component is mentioned.

The question

Does the strength of surface tension depend significantly on the constituents of the gas phase? Is there a large difference between the surface tension of e.g. the liquid-air interface versus the liquid-vapor interface?

Bonus question

If it matters what the gas phase consists of, is there a silent convention when quoting values in tables?

  • $\begingroup$ A drop of water holds together in a vacuum just the same as in air. The reason a drop of water holds together is inherent in the drop of water and not the media around it. physics.stackexchange.com/questions/110895/… $\endgroup$ – Ulthran Aug 15 '16 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I know liquids have surface tension regardless of the gas phase (or vacuum). But my question is specifically about the effect of the gas phase on the strength (value) of the surface tension. $\endgroup$ – tvo Aug 15 '16 at 15:56

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