surface tension

noun

Definition of surface tension

: the attractive force exerted upon the surface molecules of a liquid by the molecules beneath that tends to draw the surface molecules into the bulk of the liquid and makes the liquid assume the shape having the least surface area

Examples of surface tension in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Glass Elite material undergoes an ion exchange tempering process that increases the surface tension for a durable and scratch-resistant protector. Ellen Mcalpine, CNN Underscored, "Keep your phone screen scratch- and crack-free with these top screen protectors," 9 Nov. 2020 No bouncing through chop or scraping through surface tension. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "This $12,000 electric surfboard is the latest craze on Lake Tahoe," 8 Oct. 2020 The first is simply breaking the surface tension to get through. Lucy Hicks, Science | AAAS, "Watch hummingbirds ‘dance’ through waterfalls," 18 Aug. 2020 The authors suggest that thicker areas of the drop are richer in IPA and therefore have a lower surface tension. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Adding a dash of alcohol suppresses coffee ring effect in 2D printing inks," 12 Aug. 2020 On their own, this dynamic duo is stuff enough for bubbles, which hold together thanks to a touch of surface tension. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Here’s How to Blow the Perfect Giant Soap Bubble, According to Physics," 7 Feb. 2020 To counteract water’s tight pull, soaps and detergents thin out the solution, reducing surface tension just enough to allow bubbles to expand while still maintaining an energy-efficient spherical shape. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Here’s How to Blow the Perfect Giant Soap Bubble, According to Physics," 7 Feb. 2020 It was found that changes in surface tension, density, viscosity (resulting from mixing ethanol and water), and the presence of surfactants are all relevant to extend the bubble lifetime. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Mathematically Modeling the Mezcal-Making Process...For Science, We Promise," 9 July 2020 Each one has surfactants, which reduce the surface tension of a liquid, to help your dishes come out dry. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "Plink Just Launched Two New Products to Keep Your Dishes and Drinkware Fresh and Clean," 2 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surface tension.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of surface tension

1876, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for surface tension

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The first known use of surface tension was in 1876

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Cite this Entry

“Surface tension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surface%20tension. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for surface tension

surface tension

noun

English Language Learners Definition of surface tension

technical : the force that causes the molecules on the surface of a liquid to be pushed together and form a layer

surface tension

noun

Medical Definition of surface tension

: the attractive force exerted upon the surface molecules of a liquid by the molecules beneath that tends to draw the surface molecules into the bulk of the liquid and makes the liquid assume the shape having the least surface area

More from Merriam-Webster on surface tension

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about surface tension

Comments on surface tension

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