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What Causes Cohesion In Water?

Surface tension is the name given to the cohesion of water molecules. The oxygen end of water has a negative charge and the hydrogen end has a positive charge. The hydrogens of one water molecule are attracted to the oxygen from other water molecules. This attractive force is what gives water its cohesive and adhesive properties.
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Hydrogen bonds are the reason for cohesion and Van Der Waals equation is the cause of adhesion.  wiki.answers.com
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The most common cause of water on the knee is arthritis. People who have torn their ACL can have this problem. If the knee is hurt traumatically, this can cause this, too.  www.ask.com
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