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Q & A: latent heat

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Most recent answer: 05/16/2013
Q:
What is latent heat
- Mallika (age 14)
Pune,Maharashtra,India
A:
When you have some frozen state, say ice, and melt it, energy is required to break up the low-energy arrangements of the frozen state. In the case of ice, that means energy to break the good low-energy contacts between different water molecules. So energy is required just to convert the frozen state to the unfrozen one, even at the same temperature. That energy is called the latent heat. There is also latent heat required to boil a liquid. To boil water, for example,  bonds between the water molecules must be broken to let them fly apart into a gas.

Mike W.

(published on 05/16/2013)

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