Evaporation occurs when a liquid, like water, changes into a gas. Water evaporation is a key component of the water cycle, allowing the water in oceans, rivers and lakes to rise as water vapour and form clouds. Energy is necessary for water evaporation, which is why water evaporates more easily when it is boiled. You can investigate which factors contribute to water evaporation by testing the effects of heat and air flow.
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Things you need
- Three sponges
- Three plates
- Distilled water
- Portable heater
Place three dry sponges on their own plates and pour half a cup of distilled water over each one. The plates should be plastic or ceramic, not paper.
Place one sponge on a plate in front of a fan.
Place one sponge on a plate in front of a portable heater. Make sure it isn't too close to the heater, and make sure nothing else is close enough to be a fire hazard.
Leave the third sponge on a plate in a place that will be at room temperature without direct sunlight or airflow. This will be your control.
Record how long it takes each sponge to dry, making notes at regular intervals. The control sponge may take over 12 hours.
Tips and warnings
- To take this experiment further, test the time it takes a sponge to dry in the refrigerator, in front of a fan and a heater, at different levels of pressure, soaked with various liquids, soaked with water at various temperatures or on different materials.
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