Suppose I have a capillary tube inside a water trough and water level raises inside the tube till point 'x'.Now if I break the tube below this level 'x', will the water keep on flowing forever because it will keep sucking water till the point x or something else will happen?Help.


1 Answer 1


It wouldn't be able to keep going up.

The capillary action is due to surface effects and the tube walls. When there aren't walls there anymore, there's nothing for surface tension to work with for capillary action.

  • $\begingroup$ But, it should keep on flowing out and out and act like a perpetual machine.I am not talking about the liquid going straight upwards.But even if there are no walls, the liquid should keep on flowing out and inside capillary tube and out again... @JMac $\endgroup$
    – LalaByte
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ No it shouldn't. It requires the glass on the sides to actually support it. It has no mechanism to go above that (and if it did we would have perpetual motion, this never happens). A few more sources: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/88544/… physics.stackexchange.com/questions/89223/… $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 12:04

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