Nonzero Ideal Gas Contribution to the Surface Tension of Water

M Sega and B Fabian and P Jedlovszky, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 8, 2608-2612 (2017).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01024

Surface tension, the tendency of fluid interfaces to behave elastically and minimize their surface, is routinely calculated as the difference between the lateral and normal components of the pressure or, invoking isotropy in momentum space, of the virial tensor. Here we show that the anisotropy of the kinetic energy tensor close to a liquid-vapor interface can be responsible for a large part of its surface tension (about 15% for water, independent from temperature).

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