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Condensation

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by Deepa100, May 11, 2008.

  1. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member
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    My EK book says condensation occurs as a result of intramolecular forces. Is this true?
     
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  3. physics junkie

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    What else did your EK book say about this?
     
  4. BloodySurgeon

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    Well condensation occurs because the temperature decreases just look at a phase diagram. However, the more intramolecular forces there are for a solute the lower the boiling point is (i.e. ortho-hydroxybenzoic acid vs para-hyrdroxybenzoic acid). That is the best correlation I could think of.

    And of course, higher intermolecular forces --> Boiling Point elevation
     
  5. RPedigo

    Physician Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Are you sure they didn't say intermolecular forces? Condensation is a physical process-- there should be no change in an individual molecule. However, as you decrease the temperature when something is boiling, you lower the average kinetic energy of those boiling gaseous molecules. As they move slower, intermolecular forces may start making bunches of gaseous molecules 'stick' together and clump. Eventually you'll get condensation.

    If we take water as an example: in the gas phase they have really high kinetic energy and the hydrogen bonds aren't strong enough to keep them stuck together, so they're just flying around generally independently. As you lower the temperature, hydrogen bonding starts helping them stick together into droplets and you'll eventually get a liquid.
     
  6. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member
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    Yes, you are right. It was Intermolecular not Intra.
    Thanks!
     
  7. chemnerd31

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    Well said RPedigo
     

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