Definition of surface energy in English:

surface energy


  • The excess energy per unit area associated with the surface of a liquid or solid as compared with the bulk material.

    The concept was described by T. Young in 1805, in Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 95 65–87, but the term surface energy does not occur there.


Late 19th century; earliest use found in James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879), physicist.