The Matters of the World Explained Through Science

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sweaty Lemonade

There’s nothing like a cold glass of refreshing lemonade on a hot summer day! Except when your glass is sweating! At a Fourth of July party today, I was drinking a cold glass of lemonade. I set my glass down and went to play a few games with my friends. When I came back, there were droplets on the outside of the glass and a ring of wetness on the table underneath the glass! My lemonade was sweating!

 Okay, so I may be fantasizing a little bit. My lemonade wasn’t sweating, it was condensing. Condensation is when a gas becomes a liquid. Gases are made up of extremely fast particles that take up as much space as is available. However, when the gas looses thermal energy, or heat energy, it becomes a liquid. A liquid is a state of matter in which the particles move slower that a gas. The particles have no particular arrangement, so they take the shape of their container. In my situation, the warm, July air, which is a gas, outside the glass was warmer than the glass. When the air touched the glass, its particles began losing thermal energy. They lost enough thermal energy to become a liquid- water! The air outside my glass condensed into water and stayed on my glass. These droplets of water make it look like my glass is sweating!

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