Surface Tension of Water Research

Topics: Water, Surface tension, Oxygen Pages: 3 (927 words) Published: October 14, 2012
My science fair project is on the surface tension of water and what affects the surface tension of water. The question that I am going to ask is how does temperature and salinity of water affect the surface tension of the water. My hypothesis is that the colder and the saltier that the water is, the stronger that the surface tension of the water will be. Some of the background research that I have done has explained to me that the surface tension of water is a property of a liquids surface that can cause it to resist external forces. Surface tension is caused by the property of cohesion which is intermolecular attraction between two or more similar molecules. The molecules on the surface of the liquid in this case water have no molecules on top of them and are pulled inward which creates internal pressure of the liquid which causes the surface to contract to the minimal area possible. An easier way to look at it is like this, a molecule that is in contact with an acquaintance is in a lower state of energy than if it were alone so there for the interior of molecules have as many neighbors as they can possibly have but the outer molecules that are on the surface do not try to do such and they have a much higher energy because of it. I also found that surface tension is measured in forces per unit length and stated in newton’s per meter but it can also be measured as joules per square meter if it is in the use of thermodynamics where it is expressed as work done per unit of area where it is stored as potential energy which is the energy that a piece of matter has because of its position or because of its arrangement of parts.

Water molecules that are at the surface are like a frozen stretched out sheet of optimally bonded molecules, as the molecules shake into the minimal energy configuration. Each water molecule which consists of one oxygen and two hydrogen’s also known as H2O can form hydrogen bonds with four other water molecules. The way that surface...

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