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1. The liquid surface always acquires minimum surface area The angle between the tangent to the liquid surface and the
due to surface tension (ST). So, the small droplet of any tangent to the solid surface at the point of contact (inside the
liquid is always spherical. liquid) is known as angle of contact.
2. The ST is a molecular phenomenon as ST is due to
'cohesion' between the molecules of a liquid.
3. The force of attraction between the molecules of the same Glass Glass
substance is called a cohesive force and that between
molecules of different substance is called adhesive force. q q
4. The molecular range is the maximum distance (10–9 m) upto Mercury
which the molecules attract each other.
5. In general the ST of liquids decreases with increase in
temperature but the ST of molten Cadmium and Copper q < 90º q > 90°
increases with increase in temperature.
6. If the impurity is completely soluble then on mixing it in the
Some values of angle of contact of solid and liquid :
liquid, its surface tension increases. For example on
dissolving ionic salts in small quantities in a liquid, its
surface tension increases. On dissolving salt in water, its Pair of s urface Angle of contact
surface tension increases. Pure water and glas s 0°
7. If the impurity is partially soluble in a liquid, then its surface Silver and glas s 90°
tension decreases. For example on mixing detergent or
phenol in water its surface tension decreases. A lcohol and glass 138°
8. On increasing temperature surface tension decreases. At Normal water & glas s 8°
critical temperature and boiling point it becomes zero. Surface
Mercury & glas s 135°
tension of water is maximum at 4°C.

of water

4°C Temp. C

Adhesion > cohesion Adhesion = cohesion Adhesion < cohesion

1. Liquid will wet the solid Critical Liquid will not wet the solid
2. Meniscus is concave Meniscus is plane Meniscus is convex
3. Angle of contact is acute (q < 90°) Angle of contact is 90º Angle of contact is obtuse (q > 90°)
4. Pressure below the menisucs is lesser Pressure below the meniscus Pressure below the meniscus is more
2T 2T
than above it by (2T/r), i.e. p = p0 – is same as above it, i.e. p = p0 then above it by (2T/r), i.e., p = p0 +
r r
5. In capillary tube liquid will ascend. No capillary rise In capillary tube liquid will descend.

Keep in Memory 4. For all those liquids which neither rise nor get depressed in
a capillary tube, the angle of contact is right angle (q = 90°),
1. The value of angle of contact lies between 0º and 180º. For
e.g. silver and water.
pure water and glass it is 0º, for tap water and glass it is 8º
5. Angle of contact depends on impurities, water proofing
and for mercury and glass it is 135º.
agent, surface in contact and temperature. Angle of contact
2. For all those liquids which wet the solid surface and which
qC µ T where T is the temperature.
rise up in a capillary tube, the angle of contact is an acute
angle (q < 90°), e.g. water and glass.
3. For all those liquids which do not wet a solid surface and Capillarity :
which depress in a capillary tube, the angle of contact is an The phenomenon of rise or fall of liquids in capillary tube is
obtuse angle (q > 90°), e.g. glass and mercury. known as capillarity.