What is surface tension of water in terms of hydrogen
Are the surface water molecules attracted to each other more than the
water molecules below them?
Not exactly. In the bulk liquid, each water molecule is surrounded by other
water molecules with which it can form favorable hydrogen bonds. At the
surface, however, the individual molecules do not have as many options. For
the most part, they are able to arrange themselves so that they experience
just as many stabilizing interactions as the bulk molecules enjoy; however,
for a surface molecule to move or turn disrupts things a lot more than
moving or turning a molecule in the bulk. The net effect is for the surface
layer to be more rigid than the bulk material.
You have hit upon a very important area of research: the structure of
liquid water. Many outstanding experimentalists and theoreticians have
addressed this question in the past 50 years, and many are still working on
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
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Update: June 2012