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Questions tagged [capillary-action]

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48
votes
3answers
13k views

When water climbs up a piece of paper, where is the energy coming from?

Take a glass of water and piece of toilet paper. If you keep the paper vertical, and touch the surface of the water with the tip of the paper, you can see the water being absorbed and climbing up the ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Capillary action and conservation of energy [duplicate]

When I dip a paper towel in a cup of water the water gets drawn up due to capillary action. How is this reconciled with conservation of energy, as it would seem on the surface that the potential ...
22
votes
2answers
14k views

How does a sponge “suck” up water against gravity?

If I take a sponge and place it in a shallow dish of water (i.e. water level is lower than height of sponge), it absorbs water until the sponge is wet, including a portion of the sponge above the ...
9
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
9k views

Surface tension and capillarity

The cause of surface tension is said to be asymmetry in the forces experienced by the molecules at the surface due to different interactions with air and liquid, but then the same argument also ...
4
votes
7answers
16k views

Capillary tube of insufficient length

I was wondering if we have a very thin glass tube placed in a tub of liquid and the portion of the tube outside the liquid is lesser than the height to which the liquid can rise because of capillarity,...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What physical forces pull/press water upwards in vegetation?

Each spring enormous amounts of water rise up in trees and other vegetation. What causes this stream upwards? Edit: I was under the impression that capillary action is a key factor: the original ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How is sweating a pipe an example of capillary action?

I learned how to sweat a pipe today from my father. If you're not familiar with the process, this might help. One thing that jumps out at me is this line (from the above link, as well as my father's ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Does molten solder flow towards a heat source?

When soldering both plumbing and wiring I have heard the advice that you shoulf apply solid solder opposite to your heat source, since the solder "will flow towards the heat" once it melts. Is this a ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Capillary action and perpetual motion

From Wikipedia Capillary Action Thus for a 4 m diameter glass tube in lab conditions given above (radius 2 m), the water would rise an unnoticeable 0.007 mm. However, for a 4 cm diameter tube (radius ...