If a liquid of density d rises a height h in a tube of internal radius, r, the surface tension is equal to rhdg/2. The result will be in dynes per cm if r and h are in cm, d in grams per cm3 and g in cm per sec2. In the new SI, surface tension is to be expressed in newtons per meter. One dyne per centimeter times 1 ￠
Surface tension is typically measured in dynes/cm, the force in dynes required to break a film of length 1 cm. Equivalently, it can be stated as surface energy in ergs per square centimeter. (dyn/cm or mN/m)
There is a force of attraction between molecules in liquids, and liquids can flow until they take on the shape that maximizes this force of attraction. Below the surface of the liquid, the force of cohesion between molecules is the same in all directions, as shown in the figure below.
Molecules on the surface of the liquid, however, feel a net force of attraction that pulls them back into the body of the liquid.
As a result, the liquid tries to take on the shape that has the smallest possible surface area the shape of a sphere.
The magnitude of the force that controls the shape of the liquid is called the surface tension.
Critical Surface tension;
That value of surface tension of a liquid below which the liquid will spread on a solid expressed in dynes/cm (mN/m).
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