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Property of a liquid surface displayed by its acting as if it were a stretched elastic membrane. This phenomenon can be observed in the nearly spherical shape of small drops of liquids and of soap bubbles. Surface tension is also viewed as the result of forces acting in the plane of the surface and tending to minimize its area. On this basis, surface tension is often expressed as an amount of force exerted in the surface perpendicular to a line of unit length. The unit then is newtons per metre, which is equivalent to joules per square metre.
Surface tension is related to foam formation and fluid dynamics in emergency relief systems.