Surface tension

John W. M. Bush

in New Trends in the Physics and Mechanics of Biological Systems

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605835
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729522 | DOI:

Series: Lecture Notes of the Les Houches Summer School

Surface tension

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This chapter presents a pedagogical discussion of the surface tension and its manifestation in a number of fluid systems. Interfacial boundary conditions are derived and then applied in various settings. Particular attention is given to highlighting the role of curvature pressure in fluid statics, including fluid menisci and the floating of small bodies at interfaces. Dynamic settings influenced by capillary effects and capillary instability are also highlighted, including fluid jets, sheets, and hydraulic jumps. Marangoni flows (dominated by gradients of surface tension) are also considered, and the role of surface impurities in interfacial flows discussed. Simple mathematical developments are augmented with physical discussion with hopes of improving intuition for this class of problems.

Keywords: surface tension; menisci; jets; sheets; Marangoni flows; surfactants; capillary instability

Chapter.  13344 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Physics

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