Science Project Details:

What affects the rate of evaporation of water.

Featured science projectScience project video Beginner 2 < 1 hour <$10 Readily available [+] More info
Difficulty: Beginner 2
Cost ($): 5
Time required: < 1 hour
1 hour to prepare, 4 hours for experiment
Availability of materials: Readily available
Easily found
Required Skills: None
Safety concerns:

None

[-] Less info

Abstract

This experiment was performed to ascertain the factors that increase the rate of evaporation of water. The factors under examination for this experiment were the surface area of the body of water, air temperature and air pressure.

Hypothesis

Evaporation of water will happen faster given a higher surface area, higher temperature and lower air pressure environment.

Scientific Terms

Evaporation, vapor, molecules, liquid, gas

Background

Evaporation

Evaporation is the process by which liquid spontaneously turns into gas. In the case of water, it turns into water vapor.

Water molecules need energy to evaporate and become water vapor. The molecules inside the water have kinetic energy, which are in a continuous state of motion, shifting and colliding with each other. There will be a transfer of energy between the molecules colliding amongst themselves. At times, energy transferred to a water molecule located near the surface is sufficient for the molecule to escape and become water vapor.

When the surface area of the water is large, there will be a larger number of water molecules located near the surface area of the water and hence, water molecules will turn into water vapor at a faster rate.

Warmer temperatures cause the water molecules to have a higher amount of kinetic energy and will therefore produce a higher frequency and magnitude of collisions between water molecules. This leads to a faster rate of evaporation. Boiling water will evaporate at a faster rate because of the same reason.

At a lower atmospheric pressure, less energy is needed by the water molecules to escape into the atmosphere. Therefore more molecules at the water surface will be able to reach the required energy level and evaporation will occur at a faster rate.