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Could I have some help on surface tension relating to the water molecule and intermolecular forces
- michella harris (age 16)
Cheltenham Girls, Australia
Water is a very special molecule and has some interesting
properties. The one you're asking about is cohesion. Cohesion just
means that the water molecules tend to stick together. For example, if
you filled a bowl up with water, you could actually fill it until the
water level was slightly higher than the bowl edge without it
overflowing! This is what is described as having a high surface
tension. Liquids with low surface tensions have week intermolecular
forces and would overflow once the top of the liquid reached the height
of the bowl.
Water molecules are cohesive because they are polar. This means
that one side of a molecule has a slight postive charge, and the other
side has a slight negative charge. The positive part on one molecule
can attract the negative part of another molecule causing them to
That's all cohesion is!
(republished on 08/01/06)
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