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Glossary:Capillary action

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A complex force governing some fluid movements, especially in smaller pores. Capillary action is the result of adhesion and surface tension forces. Adhesion (or attraction) by a fluid to the walls of a pore creates an attracting (or repelling) force, which along with surface tension and cohesion, keep the fluid together. Thus in a capillary or small pore, the level of the fluid may be above or below the surrounding level in larger pores. This helps explain water blocks.