A simple laboratory experiment to measure the surface tension of a liquid in contact with air
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A simple and accurate laboratory experiment to measure the surface tension of liquids has been developed, which is well suited to teach the behaviour of liquids to first- or second-year students of physics, engineering or chemistry. The experimental setup requires relatively inexpensive equipment usually found in physics and chemistry laboratories, since it consists of a used or recycled burette, an analytical balance and a stereoscopic microscope or a micrometer. Experimental data and error analysis show that the surface tension of distilled water, 1-butanol and glycerol can be determined with accuracy better than 1.4%.