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Cohesive forces between water molecules are responsible for a phenomenon called surface tension. As the name might imply, surface tension is the ability of the surface water to not be broken. This property allows some objects that have a much higher density than water (such as a paper clip) to float on the surface of a glass of water.

What is the BEST possible explanation for why this occurs?


Water molecules at the bottom of the glass pull the water molecules from the surface downwards, forcing the surface molecules to be held more tightly together.


Water molecules inherently form strong hydrogen bonds between each other, which cannot be easily broken.


Water molecules at the surface have fewer water molecules to cling to. Therefore, they form a stronger bond with each other at the surface, which is harder to break.


Small dense objects like a paper clip attract water molecules in a small container like a glass, so they float on the surface.

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