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Derive an Expression for Excess Pressure Inside a Drop of Liquid. - Physics

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Derive an expression for excess pressure inside a drop of liquid.

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Consider a liquid drop of radius R and surface tension T.

Due to surface tension, the molecules on the surface film experience the net force in the inward direction normal to the surface.
Therefore there is more pressure inside than outside.

Let p1 be the pressure inside the liquid drop and po be the pressure outside the drop.

Therefore excess of pressure inside the liquid drop is,

p = p1– p0

Due to excess pressure inside the liquid drop the free surface of the drop will experience the net force in outward direction due to which the drop will expand.

Let the free surface displace by dR under isothermal conditions.

Therefore excess of pressure does the work in displacing the surface and that work will be stored in the form of potential energy.

The work done by an excess of pressure in displacing the surface is, 

dW = Force x displacement

= (Excess of pressure x surface area) x displacement of the surface

= p × 4 πR2 × dR   ....(1)

Increase in the potential energy is,

dU = surface tension x increase in area of the free surface

= T[4π(R + dR)2 - 4πR2]

= T[4π (2RdR)]        ....(2)

From (1) and (2)

p × 4 πR2 × dR = T[4π (2RdR)]  

`=> "p" = "2T"/"R"`

The above expression gives us the pressure inside a liquid drop.

Concept: Surface Tension
  Is there an error in this question or solution?


Balbharati Physics 12th Standard HSC Maharashtra State Board
Chapter 2 Mechanical Properties of Fluids
Exercises | Q 6 | Page 54

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