MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: At the molecular (quantum) level, how does water evaporation occur?

Date: Mon Sep 5 23:50:09 2005
Posted by Bruce
Grade level: teacher/prof School: Edison High School
City: Fresno State/Province: CA Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1125982209.Ph

Acording to my calculations, a photon of green (500 nanometer) light has 4 X
10^-19J of energy, and a water molecule, when it evaporates, takes 0.7 X 10^-19
J of energy with it.  This leads me to believe that a single incoming photon
could cause a single water molecule to "go ballistic", i.e. go from liquid to
gas phase.  Alternatively, an incoming photon just generally heats up the water
(notice how vague. . .) and the heat causes all the water molecules to vibrate
faster, and the fastest ones leave the liquid.  Is my first (quantum
interaction) scenario at least partially true?  (My class is studying global

Re: At the molecular (quantum) level, how does water evaporation occur?

Current Queue | Current Queue for Physics | Physics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2005. All rights reserved.