MadSci Network: Physics

Re: What liquid has the highest amount of surface tension,

Date: Tue Jan 9 11:44:09 2001
Posted By: Rick Becker, Staff, Cluster physics/ plasma physics, Ibadex, LLC
Area of science: Physics
ID: 978487711.Ph

Hi Elizabeth,

While not _absolutely_ sure, my best guess is Mercury. Mercury is a metal, but is actually a liquid at room temperature, and is very heavy, actually slightly heavier per cubic centimeter than Gold. I remember seeing a picture in National Geographic many years ago, of a mine in Spain where they dug Cinnabar, the ore that Mercury comes from. One of the miners was floating on top of a big pool of Mercury in a pit. He had a big smile on his face because he thought it was a big joke. He is probably dead now, because Mercury is also extremely poisonous. If you want to learn more about Mercury, check your encyclopedia, or ask your librarian to help you find The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, and look for the section called The Elements. I hope this helps.

Rick Becker

[added by MadSci Admin: Rick is right! Smithsonian Physical Tables lists the surface tension of various liquids in contact with air (at room temperature?)(in dynes per centimeter) as:
Mercury 513
Water 75
Olive Oil 35
Turpentine 29

Now, this same source also lists the surface tensions of metals at the temperature of their solidification:
Mercury 588
Platinum 1691
Gold 1003
Silver 427
Lead 457
Sulfur 111
Phosphorus 43

Current Queue | Current Queue for Physics | Physics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2001. All rights reserved.