MadSci Network: Other

Re: Where do the trails on the condensation of the inside of a bottle come from

Date: Thu Dec 28 22:45:21 2000
Posted By: David Leonard, M.D., General Medicine, US Navy
Area of science: Other
ID: 977515868.Ot


Very observant of you to notice both the condensation and the 'trails.'  
These trails are caused by drops of water.  As you know, the condensation 
is just water collecting on the side of the bottle.  As more and more 
water molecules join the condensation, they start piling up and forming 
droplets.  Eventually, some of the droplets get big enough and start 
dripping down the bottle, leaving the little trails.

If you would like to see this process in action, you can try this little 
experiment.  Take an empty water bottle and fill it half full of hot tap 
water and put the lid back on.  You will see the condensation for 
immediately, and within 5 or 10 minutes you will watch the drops dripping 
down on the inside leaving little trails behind.

There are lots of previous answers on our site dealing with condensation, 
dew, humidity, etc. Use our search engine to find them:

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