# Unit of Surface Tension

Created by: Team Physics - Examples.com, Last Updated: April 25, 2024

## Unit of Surface Tension

Unit of surface tension is a crucial concept in physics, defining the force per unit length required to overcome the cohesive forces between molecules at the surface of a liquid. It’s measured in various units depending on the system of measurement, such as Newtons per meter (N/m) in the International System of Units (SI) or dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm) in the CGS (Centimeter-Gram-Second) system. Understanding surface tension is fundamental in explaining phenomena like capillary action, droplet formation, and the behavior of liquids in various environments, making it essential in physics and numerous practical applications.

## What is Unit of Surface Tension?

The unit of surface tension is typically expressed as force per unit length. In the International System of Units (SI), the standard unit for surface tension is Newtons per meter (N/m). In the CGS (Centimeter-Gram-Second) system, it is expressed as dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm). These units quantify the force required to overcome the cohesive forces between molecules at the surface of a liquid.

## Unit of Surface Tension Formula

γ = F​/L

Where:

• γ is the surface tension,
• F is the force acting perpendicular to the surface, and
• L is the length along which the force acts.

## SI Units of Surface Tension

SI Unit: Newtons per meter (N/m)

Surface tension is a measure of the force per unit length acting along the surface of a liquid, caused by the cohesive forces between its molecules. In the International System of Units (SI), surface tension is quantified in Newtons per meter (N/m). This unit represents the amount of force required to stretch or deform the surface of a liquid by one meter. It’s a crucial concept in physics and chemistry, influencing phenomena such as droplet formation, capillary action, and the behavior of fluids in various applications.

## CGS Unit of Surface Tension

CGS Unit: dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm)

In the CGS system, surface tension is measured in dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm). This unit represents the force exerted perpendicular to a line of one centimeter at the surface of a liquid. Dynes are the unit of force, and centimeters are the unit of length in the CGS system. Surface tension quantifies the cohesive forces between molecules at the surface of a liquid, influencing various phenomena such as droplet formation, wetting behavior, and capillary rise.

## List of Surface Tension Units

### Newtons per meter

1 Newton per meter (N/m) = 1,000 dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm)
• Abbreviation: N/m
• System: International System of Units (SI)
• Explanation: Newtons per meter represent the force per unit length acting along the surface of a liquid. It is the standard unit of surface tension in the SI system.
• Approximate Value for Water at 20°C: 0.0728 N/m

### Dynes per centimeter

1 Dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm) = 0.001 Newtons per meter (N/m)
• Abbreviation: dyn/cm
• System: Centimeter-Gram-Second (CGS) system
• Explanation: Dynes per centimeter represent the force per unit length acting along the surface of a liquid. It is the standard unit of surface tension in the CGS system.
• Approximate Value for Water at 20°C: 72.8 dyn/cm

### Physical Interpretation

1 Pound per inch (lb/in) = 5,713.38 dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm)
• Abbreviation: lb/in
• System: Imperial system
• Explanation: Pounds per inch represent the force per unit length acting along the surface of a liquid. It is a unit of surface tension used in the Imperial system.
• Approximate Value for Water at 20°C: 0.413 lb/in

### Millinewtons per meter

1 Millinewton per meter (mN/m) = 1 dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm)
• Abbreviation: mN/m
• System: SI-derived unit
• Explanation: Millinewtons per meter represent the force per unit length acting along the surface of a liquid. It is a derived unit in the SI system.
• Approximate Value for Water at 20°C: 72.8 mN/m

### Kilograms per second squared

1 Kilogram per second squared (kg/s²) ≈ 1,000 N/m
• Abbreviation: kg/s²
• System: Alternative SI-derived unit
• Explanation: Kilograms per second squared represent the force per unit length acting along the surface of a liquid. It is an alternative derived unit in the SI system.
• Approximate Value for Water at 20°C: 72.8 N/m

## Conversion of Surface Tension Units

### Dynes per centimeter to Newtons per meter

1 dyn/cm = 0.001 N/m
• This entry provides the conversion factor from dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm) to Newtons per meter (N/m).
• 1 dyn/cm is equal to 0.001 N/m.
• Example: 10 dyn/cm is equivalent to 0.01 N/m.

### Newtons per meter to Dynes per centimeter

1 N/m = 1000 dyn/cm
• This entry provides the conversion factor from Newtons per meter (N/m) to dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm).
• 1 N/m is equal to 1000 dyn/cm.
• Example: 10 N/m is equivalent to 10,000 dyn/cm.

### Pounds per inch to Newtons per meter

1 lb/in = 175.126 N/m
• This entry provides the conversion factor from pounds per inch (lb/in) to Newtons per meter (N/m).
• 1 lb/in is equal to 175.126 N/m.
• Example: 10 lb/in is equivalent to 1751.26 N/m.

### Newtons per meter to Pounds per inch

1 N/m = 0.0057 lb/in
• This entry provides the conversion factor from Newtons per meter (N/m) to pounds per inch (lb/in).
• 1 N/m is equal to 0.0057 lb/in.
• Example: 10 N/m is equivalent to 0.057 lb/in.

### Pounds per inch to Dynes per centimeter

1 lb/in = 17512.6 dyn/cm
• This entry provides the conversion factor from pounds per inch (lb/in) to dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm).
• 1 lb/in is equal to 17512.6 dyn/cm.
• Example: 10 lb/in is equivalent to 175126 dyn/cm.

### Dynes per centimeter to Pounds per inch

1 dyn/cm = 0.000057 lb/in
• This entry provides the conversion factor from dynes per centimeter (dyn/cm) to pounds per inch (lb/in).
• 1 dyn/cm is equal to 0.000057 lb/in.
• Example: 10 dyn/cm is equivalent to 0.00057 lb/in.

## How does surface tension affect everyday life?

Surface tension is responsible for the ability of small insects to walk on water, the formation of raindrops, the shape of liquid droplets, and the functioning of soap bubbles.

## What are some examples of liquids with high surface tension?

Water, mercury, and liquid metals typically exhibit high surface tension due to the strong cohesive forces between their molecules.

## Why is surface tension important in science and engineering?

Understanding surface tension is crucial in various scientific and engineering fields, including fluid mechanics, materials science, biology, and chemistry, where it influences processes such as adhesion, coating, and fluid behavior.

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