I have been studying surface tension from my textbook, when I came across a question in which a thin circular plate is placed over water. The surface tension of the water is given. The minimum force required to pull away the circular plate is asked. The dilemma, I am in is in which direction will the water molecules pull the plate when it is dragged on the surface? All I have read about surface tension is that the direction is along the surface of fluid and perpendicular to th plate periphery. But there are two possibilities in that plane for force acting on each small element. I tried to google it but either google nor wiki mention anything about the specific direction. In my opinion th net force due to surface tension will be zero. But what I said is just a guess.!