Name the factors which affect the rate of evaporation.

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Evaporation is one process of vaporization that occurs to liquids as they pass to the gaseous state of matter.  There are several factors that influence a liquid substance in this transition between liquid and gas.  The concentration of the substance in the air can be a limiting factor.  Water, for example, evaporates much more slowly on a humid day where there is a large amount of water vapor alreay present in the air.  The flow rate of the air has a lot to do with the rate of evaporation.  Think of this as an interstate highway; if there is a wreck on the highway, it slows the flow of traffic, meaning fewer vehicles go by, as opposed to the normal flow of traffic.  The intermolecular forces can limit evaporation, if those forces are large.  Air pressure can be a factor; where air pressure is less, evaporation occurs at a faster rate. Surface area will either increase or decrease evaporation.  If you take a cup of water and pour it out onto a plate, it will evaporate faster because you increased the surface area.  Temperature will cause evaporation to increase, if increased, and density can be a factor.  Liquids with higher density, like mercury, don't evaporate easily.


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