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Water sticks.

  1. Nov 17, 2004 #1
    So this question popped up randomly to me for no reason: water seems to stick to clothing, but I was wondering why this is, since to me it seems it should just fall right off the clothes meaning you'd never have to dry them :wink:

    I suppose mabye it has to do with surface tension, mabye the water between two fibers has enough surface tension to keep it in place? But still, why wouldn't it fall without breaking its shape?

    Thanks for any help :smile: :biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2004 #2


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    Surface tension will keep things from getting wet.
    For example you can "float" a needle in a glass of water.

    If a material will get wet depends on the orientation of charge groups on the molecules that make up the material. (hydrophobic hydrophilic)
    Some material will not get wet and you can indeed just shake the water off.
  4. Nov 18, 2004 #3
    So in other words it's magnetic attraction that causes water to stick?

    What does "orientation of charge groups mean", I'm a layman :P

    Thanks, still trying to figure this whole thing out.
  5. Nov 18, 2004 #4


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    Magnetism is not involved.
    It is electric charge, something like walking across the carpet and getting zapped by touching something metal.
    Very simply many molecules have an electric charge with + side and a - side.
    They can get locked into arrays that predominantly present one charge or the other at the surface.
    Water has a predominant exposed charge also.
    Equivalent charges repel each other, opposite charges attract.
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