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Evaporation and Intermolecular Attractions

Experiment #8 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

Education Level
High School


The evaporation of a volatile liquid from the surface of a Temperature Probe is an endothermic process that results in a temperature decrease. The magnitude of a temperature decrease is, like viscosity and boiling temperature, related to the strength of intermolecular forces of attraction. In this experiment, you will investigate factors that determine strengths of intermolecular forces of attraction in alkanes and alcohols and the magnitudes of the temperature changes as these substances evaporate from a Temperature Probe.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will gain experience using a Temperature Probe while you determine the temperature change as ethanol, C2H5OH, evaporates.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about alkanes and alcohols before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with temperature changes as alkanes and alcohols evaporate.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #8 of Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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