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Name: Charity W.
Status: student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2002


Question:
How does the temperature of the water effect surface tension? Thank you so much for your help.


Replies:
The surface tension of a liquid in equilibrium with its vapor, or its vapor plus air is almost universally negative. The order of magnitude of the change in surface tension per degree increase in the absolute temperature (in kelvins, K) is about [ -0.1 mJ/mol*K ]. If you think of the surface tension as the energy REQUIRED to INCREASE the surface of the liquid an incremental amount, it is reasonable that it takes less energy as the temperature increases because the molecules in the vicinity of the interface are "bouncing around" faster, on average, the higher the temperature, so the interfacial surface requires less energy to stretch.

Vince Calder



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