The force of surface tension acts tangentially to the surface whereas the force due to air pressure acts perpendicularly on the surface. How is then the force due to excess pressure inside a bubble balanced by the force due to the surface tension?
The forces act tangentially to the bubble surface on both sides of a given line but they have one component normal to the bubble surface. This component balances the force due to excess pressure inside the bubble.
In the figure, let us consider a small length AB on the surface of the spherical bubble. Let the surface forces act tangentially along A and B. On producing the forces backwards, they meet at a point O. By the parallelogram law of forces, we see that the resultant force acts opposite to the normal. This balances the internal forces due to excess pressure.
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