College Chemistry : Vaporization and Condensation

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for College Chemistry

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Solutions, States Of Matter, And Thermochemistry

Suppose a source of water is boiling. If the ambient pressure above the surface of the water were to increase, which of the following would happen to the boiling water?

Possible Answers:

The water would continue to boil

The water would solidify into ice

The water would continue to boil at a faster rate

The water would stop boiling

The water would stop boiling at first, but then would continue to boil

Correct answer:

The water would stop boiling


For this question, we're told that water is boiling and that the pressure above the surface of the water increases. We're asked to find out what will happen to the water.

It's important to remember the definition of a boiling liquid; the vapor pressure of the liquid is equal to the atmospheric pressure above the solution. Thus, if the atmospheric pressure increases, the vapor pressure would then become lower than the atmospheric pressure. As a result, the water would cease to boil. Moreover, its boiling point would increase because a higher temperature would be necessary in order to raise the vapor pressure enough so that it becomes equal to atmospheric pressure.

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