Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?

  • 8 Replies
  • 7072 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 12656
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« on: 12/12/2008 21:13:23 »
Water is. I don't think mercury is. So what does "wet" mean?
« Last Edit: 19/12/2008 09:44:21 by chris »
Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.

*

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8185
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #1 on: 12/12/2008 22:20:41 »
The verb to wet : to coat with a film of liquid.
The ability of a liquid to wet a surface is inversely proportional to its surface tension.
Water has a high surface tension, so most liquids are "wetter" than water, (e.g. pure alcohol).
Mercury, like water, has an unusually high surface tension.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2008 22:26:53 by RD »

*

lyner

  • Guest
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #2 on: 12/12/2008 22:24:09 »
Adhesion vs cohesive forces, I would suggest. Because of it's high specific heat capacity, once water  has wetted you it also manages to feel very cold. Other wet liquids - like light oils - stick but don't feel as cold.
I don't think there's an official definition.
Mercury wets copper braid very well btw.

*

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8185
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #3 on: 12/12/2008 22:44:52 »
Mercury reacts with (dissolves) copper ...

Quote
Metals such as tin, silver, and copper will form compounds with the mercury.
http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2003-04/1049252616.Gb.r.html

*

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 12656
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #4 on: 12/12/2008 23:05:25 »
hmmm, interesting
Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.

*

lyner

  • Guest
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #5 on: 13/12/2008 00:29:06 »
Water dissolves lots of things - eventually.
I guess dissolving is the ultimate attraction.

*

Offline lightarrow

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4586
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #6 on: 13/12/2008 18:03:56 »
Mercury reacts with (dissolves) copper ...
Quote
Metals such as tin, silver, and copper will form compounds with the mercury.
http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2003-04/1049252616.Gb.r.html
Ok, but, at room temperature, a mercury drop will first wet a copper surface, then, after xyz days/weeks will have (perhaps) completely dissolved in it. To increase reaction speed you would use fine copper powder. By the way, using fine Cu powder is a way (invented by me and never experimented [:)]) of removing very little Hg drops from pavement after a possible crash of an Hg thermometre.
Maybe gold is even more efficient, but it depends on your budget...  [;)]
« Last Edit: 13/12/2008 18:11:09 by lightarrow »

*

lyner

  • Guest
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #7 on: 13/12/2008 21:47:11 »
Never drop mercury on the floor of an aeroplane - it eats its way through to the outside as the dissolved aluminium oxidises at the mercury air surface.

*

Offline Kryptid

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 640
    • View Profile
    • http://www.angelfire.com/sc2/Trunko
Re: Is there a scientific definition of "wet"?
« Reply #8 on: 18/12/2008 10:24:19 »
What about when you get down to the molecular level? What if you had a single molecule of water held to a single molecule of sugar by intermolecular forces? Is the molecule of sugar "wet"? If not, then how large does a group of molecules have to be before can be wet?
----
Jesus is coming soon. Be prepared for him.