STEMonstrations: Surface Tension

STEMonstrations: Surface Tension


[ MUSIC ]>>WELCOME TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. I’M NASA ASTRONAUT RICKY ARNOLD. OUR VIEW FROM THE ISS OF EARTH IS ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT. BUT WE QUICKLY REALIZED WE REALLY SHOULD CALL IT PLANET OCEAN. WE’RE MOSTLY A WATER PLANET. WATER OCCURS HERE IN ALL THREE PHASES: SOLID, LIQUID AND GAS. AND THE PRESENCE OF WATER ON OTHER PLANETS AND MOONS WITHIN OUR OWN SOLAR SYSTEM HAS US WONDERING: IS THERE LIFE THERE, TOO? BUT WHY IS WATER SO SPECIAL? ONE REASON IS CALLED SURFACE TENSION. WELL, WHAT IS SURFACE TENSION? LET’S HAVE A LOOK. SURFACE TENSION IS A PROPERTY OF LIQUIDS IN WHICH MOLECULES OF ONE SUBSTANCE ARE MORE ATTRACTED TO EACH OTHER THAN TO MOLECULES OF ANOTHER SUBSTANCE. WATER IS UNIQUE IN THAT IT HAS A HIGH SURFACE TENSION COMPARED TO OTHER LIQUIDS. THIS IS DUE TO ITS POLAR PROPERTY. THE POSITIVE HYDROGEN ENDS AND THE NEGATIVE OXYGEN ENDS CREATE A STRONG BOND. AS THEY SAY, OPPOSITES ATTRACT, SO THE HYDROGEN END OF THE WATER TENDS TO STICK TO THE OXYGEN END IN A NEARBY WATER MOLECULE. AT WATER’S SURFACE, ITS MOLECULES ARE ONLY ATTRACTED TO THE WATER MOLECULES BELOW AND TO THE SIDES OF THEM, AS THERE IS ONLY AIR ABOVE THESE MOLECULES. SO THE SURFACE MOLECULES OF A BODY OF WATER ARE PULLED DOWN, CREATING A MORE STABLE, STRONGER ENVIRONMENT. THAT IS WHY CERTAIN ANIMALS LIKE THE WATER STRIDER CAN ACTUALLY WALK ON THE SURFACE OF WATER. HERE ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, THE MICROGRAVITY ENVIRONMENT MAKES IT EASY TO SHOW HOW WELL WATER USES SURFACE TENSION TO STICK TOGETHER. WE EVEN RELY ON SURFACE TENSION TO HELP US WASH OUR HAIR… THOSE OF US THAT HAVE A LOT. THANKS FOR COMIN’ ALONG TODAY AND LEARNING A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SURFACE TENSION. WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF WATER AND DO YOUR OWN EXPERIMENTS? TRY OUT THE ACTIVITY RELATED TO THIS VIDEO AT THE STEMONSTRATIONS WEBSITE. SEE YOU NEXT TIME! [ MUSIC ]

15 Replies to “STEMonstrations: Surface Tension”

  1. I like studying the properties of water and its related chemistry. So much yet to learn.
    There have even been a couple discoveries made here on youtube thanks to the democratization of high speed photography and citizen-science.

  2. Dear Astro Ricky πŸ‘‹ 😁
    For Context I'm the person who sent a morning view of planet Mercury & of which I've
    Wondered how liquid Mercury behaves in zero G like we use as thermostat switches
    On earth. I did try an stay in touch however
    My Twitter page is protected it has been
    On temporary πŸ” lock
    For now to keep good people honest πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ
    I humbly say I have been selected top of the year on You Tube
    Once following Astronauts Dr. Kate Rubins & Commander Jeff Williams 2016 as NASA's commentator
    I've invented a game
    On earth it functions by
    Surface tension it's been in progress An
    Hold for some time
    Now I just hope 1 day
    By a miracle you also many others at NASA
    have the chance to experience this it's like
    Nothing you ever experienced I'll close with this my last 2 tweets were to you
    Also mr. Neil Degrasse Tyson about this time
    Of the planet Mercury photos Africa was hit by a huge meteor esa
    Has the story size?
    Something like a suit case still big to consider impact if it hit
    A mac truck it would
    Slam the engine into the ground πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈπŸ’₯πŸš›β˜„οΈπŸ’«πŸŒŽ
    I hope we stay in touch
    Over an out y'all don't
    Be fighting up there
    πŸ˜πŸ‘ Godspeed
    From: LarryWhittington
    (Buddy)

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