The Matters of the World Explained Through Science

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where's My Soup?

 Happy Thanksgiving! Many people have many different traditions for Thanksgiving, but every Thanksgiving, I make a huge pot soup. So, this year, like I usually do, I poured some water in a large pot and stuck it on the stove. I turned the heat up to high to bring it to a boil. I left to go to the bathroom and then remembered I had to go get the pumpkin pie I had ordered (I’m a HORRIBLE baker). So I, brilliant as I am, left the pot unattended and ran out of the house. Luckily, my brother found the flame on, and called me an hour after I had left the house. He sounded confused and said something about an empty pot, but I was frazzled and I told him to turn it off and then arrived home as soon as I could because time was running out, but I knew I had a pot of hot water on the stove and my soup vegetables were ready to go. When I got home, however, the only thing on the stove was an empty pot. Naturally, I blamed by brother for emptying the pot. He claimed he didn’t do anything. After I got over my anger (by slamming pots, breaking a few jars and spilling water), I realized that my brother actually didn’t do anything.
See, it’s this thing called vaporization which means that a substance in changing state of matter from a liquid to a gas. Boiling is a type of vaporization. The particles in a liquid (in this case, water) are packed pretty close together and are able to move freely. As the water heated up, the particles in the water gained enough thermal energy, or heat energy, from the flame underneath it, to start vibrating very fast. The particles in a gas are spread out and move quickly. An example of a gas is carbon dioxide. My hot water was boiling for about an hour and, during that time, it vaporized! It changed from liquid water to water vapor! So, the next time something disappears, don’t blame it on your siblings… it just might be a change in state of matter!

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