Relationship between surface tension and the shape of a liquid drop

  1. i don't know how to describe the relationship between surface tension and the shape of a liquid drop. Also what are the attractive forces that increase surface tension?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Andy Resnick

    Andy Resnick 5,895
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    The free energy is minimized by minimizing the surface area. For positive interfacial energy, that corresponds to a sphere (in the absence of gravity). For negative interfacial energy, that corresponds to mixing- *maximizing* the intrfacial area.

    The atomic origins of interfacial energy are murky, to put it mildly. One need not discuss atoms to discuss dividing surfaces.
     
  4. GCT

    GCT 1,769
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    Homework Helper

    Depends on where the drop is - is it on a surface? Cohesion due to intermolecular attractions answers your second question it is your responsibility to find the list of such attractions.
     
  5. yes it's on a surface
     
  6. GCT

    GCT 1,769
    Science Advisor
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    Then factor in adhesion-also research the topic of contact angle-the more the liquid molecule is attracted to the surface the less spherical it's going to be.
     
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