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Q & A: Temperature and Water Molecules

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
How does temperature affect the movment of water molecules?
- Marissa
A:
Good question!

Temperature causes water molecules to move more quickly, because each individual molecule has more energy as it gets hotter (according to Kinetic molecular theory). If you get water hot enough, the molecules move so much that the hydrogen bonds that hold them together start to break and the water becomes a gas ... water vapor.

Jason

p.s. Those hydrogen bonds are breaking and reforming all the time. Some water molecules will fly off into the gas even at room temperature, so there's always some water in the atmosphere. But when the boiling point is reached, water molecules will leave the liquid and go into the gas faster than they leave the vapor and stick to the liquid even if the gas consists of pure water vapor. At that point the liquid boils away. Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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