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Q & A: Do all liquids evaporate?

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Most recent answer: 09/07/2011
Q:
Do all liquids evaporate over time before they reach their boiling point?If I had liquid wax, liquid gold, mercury, and water would they all eventually evaporate?
- Ryan (age 13)
Canada
A:
All liquids (and even solids) evaporate in the sense that some of their molecules or atoms fly off the surface into the nearby gas.  If something blows those molecules away, then more will keep evaporating until the liquid is gone. If the whole thing is in a sealed box, however, an equilibrium is reached. In equilibrium the rate at which the molecules leave the liquid for the gas equals the rate at which the molecules come back from the gas into the liquid.

Mike W.

(published on 09/07/2011)

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