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An improved oscillating drop method was developed to measure the surface tension and viscosity of a liquid without any external forces using a falling droplet. Simple surface oscillation is observed for a falling droplet and the simple basic principles are applicable without any correction. The surface oscillation of a falling droplet was precisely measured using the combination of a laser, cylindrical lens, and line sensors. Measured surface tension and viscosity of water shows good agreement with previously reported values. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.