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Interfacial Tension. The asymmetric intermolecular forces that exist at the boundaries or interfaces between two immiscible liquids, as oil and water. By acting to reduce the surface area of the liquids, these forces interfere with the emulsification (q.v.) of the liquids. Additions of surfactants (q.v.) to such liquid mixtures reduce these surface tensions (q.v.) and permit the liquids to form true emulsions (q.v.).