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It will not affect more than the top two or three layers of atoms. Below that, the forces are equal in all directions. The 'useful' strength of the force depends on the surface it is in contact with or any substance floating on the water or in solution. I am not sure whether ionic solutions affect it but, asymmetrical molecules like detergents definitely do.
Look at thishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfactant
I'm looking at it....it looks like a link !!!
QuoteI'm looking at it....it looks like a link !!!you funny young man!