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Surface Tension and Potential Energy

  1. Nov 23, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    When we consider a beaker of water and two molecules, one completely inside the water and the other at the free surface, the water molecule at the free surface will experience net downward force of attraction and this causes the water molecule to behave like a stretched membrane, which is called as surface tension.

    Revered members,
    Now to bring this molecule at the free surface to interior of beaker, one has to do work against the force of attraction and this is stored as potential energy. Water molecule acquires minimum surface area to have minimum potential energy. What is the relation between surface area and potential energy?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    More work done so more potential energy and more surface area. But how surface tension correspond to minimum potential energy. I can't understand.
  2. jcsd
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