Thu May 29, 2008 By:

capillary action

Expert Reply
Sun June 15, 2008

Capillary action  is the ability of a substance to draw another substance into it. The standard reference is to a tube in plants but can be seen readily with porous paper. It occurs when the adhesive intermolecular forces between the liquid and a  substance are stronger than the cohesive intermolecular forces inside the liquid. The effect causes a concave meniscus to form where the substance is touching a vertical surface. The same effect is what causes for the rising of spirit from the container to the flame through the wick..

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