Suppose somehow we take a layer of liquid in such a way that the layer is just one layer of the liquid atoms, will there be any surface tension?

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    $\begingroup$ But then how can one say that the layer is in a 'liquid' state? Don't we need a bulk to identify a state as a liquid? $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2020 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ Really? Do we?🤔 I'm not sure but seems like you've got a point $\endgroup$
    – Meow
    Apr 20, 2020 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ In case of liquid-vapor interface, we need a density gradient of liquid molecules near the interface which leads to surface tension. This gradient would be absent here. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2020 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ Surface tension is a "bulk" phenomenon. A single layer of atoms is not in the "bulk" state. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2020 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think you could actually call it surface tension, but given no other forces, wouldn't the atoms tend to hold a distance from each other that balances atomic attraction / repulsion? But the atoms would probably form a sphere, with no other forces $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2020 at 20:24


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