Surface Tension Saves the Day

June 20, 2024

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Photographer: Neil Libby
Summary AuthorNeil Libby

Whenever I water this particular plant, I need to be careful: too much water, it'll saturate the soil in the pot, then drain into the dish and overflow onto the windowsill. One day earlier this spring, I poured just the right amount. The dish was able to contain the water, and then some. As you can see, surface tension kept it (barely) from flowing over the rim, and at the same time, caused it to climb up the side of the pot. Because the water molecules have a greater attraction to one another than to air molecules, I was saved from the job of mopping up the windowsill. Note that the pictured bird is a hand-painted Baltimore Oriole. Photo taken on April 12, 2024.

Photo Details: Photo taken with an Apple iPhone 11; 26 mm-equivalent; f/1.8.

Chicago, Illinois Coordinates: 41.8781, -87.6298

Related Links:
Surface Tension of Water
Adhesion and Cohesion of Water