the best science on the web about
surface tension

Drop of Water
Image: iStockphoto.com/vkbhat

Drop of Water

Could anything be more tedious than watching a water droplet falling into a water body in slow motion? Wait till you see this video! The water's surface seems to act like a rubber skin.

What makes it do that? Surface tension. This is the property of liquids that lets some insects walk on water, allows you to fill a glass past its rim, and causes a water droplet to...well, watch the video.

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The Mentos Explosion

The Mentos Explosion

Drop Mentos candy into a diet soda and a full-blown geyser erupts. But why? Discover the secret science behind the blast — after you test it out for yourself, of course. Umbrella optional. More...

Activity
Penn State
Measuring Surface Tension of Water with a Penny

Measuring Surface Tension of Water with a Penny

See how many water drops you can pile on a penny. Then change the water's surface tension (by adding salt or detergent) and see what happens when you try adding the drops again. More...

Activity
Science Buddies
Make a Paperclip Float

Make a Paperclip Float

Actually, you can't really make a paperclip float, strictly speaking. But you can make it sit on top of water. Find out how and why. More...

Activity
Science Bob
Physics Images: Surface Tension

Physics Images: Surface Tension

In this photo, you can actually see the "skin" that surface tension gives to the surface of water. More...

Images
Science Kids
Saturday Morning Science

Saturday Morning Science

In space, water forms into films so tough you can paint on them. Find out why from the astronaut who investigated surface tension during lazy Saturday mornings in orbit. More...

Article
NASA
Soapy Science

Soapy Science

What? More bubbles? Yes! How could we leave out a site that tells you how to blow bubbles inside other bubbles, or even put your hand in one without bursting it? More...

Activity
University of York
Sticky Water

Sticky Water

How come water can rise above the rim of a glass without spilling? Because water molecules grab onto one another in a way that produces a "stretchy skin" on the water's surface. More...

Article
Exploratorium
Surface Tension and Water

Surface Tension and Water

Water has the greatest surface tension of any liquid except mercury. That’s why we need soap, and why some insects can stride across their ponds. More...

Article
U.S. Geological Survey
Surface Tension: Cheerios Effect

Surface Tension: Cheerios Effect

Why do the last of your Cheerios huddle together at the bottom of the bowl? Are they scared of being eaten next? Or might it have something to do with surface tension? More...

Activity
Saint Louis Science Center

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