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1. A property of liquids arising from unbalanced molecular cohesive forces at or near the surface, as a result of which the surface tends to contract and has properties resembling those of a stretched elastic membrane.
2. A measure of this property.
1. (General Physics) a property of liquids caused by intermolecular forces near the surface leading to the apparent presence of a surface film and to capillarity, etc
2. (General Physics) a measure of this property expressed as the force acting normal to one side of a line of unit length on the surface: measured in newtons per metre. Symbol: T, γ or σ
the elasticlike force existing in the surface of a body, esp. a liquid, tending to minimize the area of the surface and manifested in capillarity, constriction of the surface, etc.
A property of liquids whereby their surfaces behave as if they were covered by a thin, elastic film. Surface tension is caused by the uneven attraction that molecules at or near the surface of a liquid have for each other. Because of surface tension, small objects can be supported by the surface of a liquid without sinking. Insects, for example, can walk across the surface of a pond because of the surface tension of water. Surface tension also causes drops of a liquid to be shaped like spheres, since spheres have the least amount of surface area possible.
1. Within a liquid, molecules attract each other equally in all directions. At the surface, however, there is no force attracting them outwards, so the molecules are pulled towards the interior of the liquid.
2. The cohesion of a liquid’s surface caused by the inward attraction of its molecules.
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|Noun||1.||surface tension - a phenomenon at the surface of a liquid caused by intermolecular forces|
physical phenomenon - a natural phenomenon involving the physical properties of matter and energy
capillarity, capillary action - a phenomenon associated with surface tension and resulting in the elevation or depression of liquids in capillaries