Main Question or Discussion Point
I know there have been a number of posts relating to capillary action but after reading through them I cannot find an obvious answer to my query. Although capillary action can be used to explain the properties of 'wicking' materials that can raise water vertically I am unsure as to whether it is possible to collect that water at a point higher than it started. To illustrate I have done a number of common experiments such as a paper napkin or paper towel siphon from one glass to another. (see images attached). Eventually the water level in each glass will equate. If you then raise one end out of the glass will it continue to drip? Everything I have read would suggest no, in order to do this the surface tension would have to break (as I understand) and it is suggesting a continuous flow of water may be possible. However in this article http://drspark.com/idea001.php" [Broken] the author claims to have set up an experiment where water can be sucked up a capillary tube into a wicking material and leave at a higher point than it started. This would seem to me to break the rules of energy conservation and therefore not be possible unless there is something I am missing. I would be really grateful for any comments, I am an architecture student looking into the properties of wicking materials for the design of a pavilion that could provide evaporative cooling and thermal mass. As it is a short theoretical project I don't have enough time to fully explore but for my own interest I would like to understand whether this potential for perpetual water flow is possible or not?
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