We present Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations of liquid-vapor surfaces, and their Intrinsic Sampling Method analysis, to get a quantitative test for the theoretical prediction of the capillary wave (CW) effects on density correlation done by Bedeaux and Weeks (BW) in 1985. The results are contrasted with Wertheim’s proposal which is the first term in BW series and are complemented with a (formally defined and computational accessible) proposal for the background of non-CW fluctuations. Our conclusion is that BW theory is both accurate and needed since it may differ significantly from Wertheim’s proposal. We discuss the implications for the analysis of experimental X-ray surface diffraction data and MD simulations.

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