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Published on Feb 16, 2016

Abstract

The objective: The objective of this project is to study the effects of an external electric field on the heat of vaporization of water through both computer simulations and experiments.

Methods/Materials

Using the molecular model of the dipolar water molecules, a program was written in Java to simulate the effect of a static electric field on the transitional and rotational movements of water molecules as well as the interactions among water molecules.

The average transitional velocity, rotational velocity and kinetic energy of water molecules after each step of the simulation were plotted against time.

The program was run at different strengths of electric fields from 0V/m to 1400V/m.

The heat of vaporization of water was measured using Clausius-Clapeyron equation experimentally under electric field strength from 0V/m to 1400V/m.

Results


The heat of vaporization of water increased by about 5% as the result of a static electric field. Based on the consistent results from both the simulation and the experiment, the increase of the heat of vaporization underwent exponential decay as the strength of the electric field increased.

Conclusions/Discussion

Due to the overall neutral charge of water molecules, a static electric field had no effect on the transitional movements and the transitional kinetic energies of water molecules.

However, the torques created by a static electric field on water molecules tended to reorient water molecules towards the direction of the E field. The rotational movements of water molecules underwent damping oscillation in which the average rotational kinetic energy decreased.

Water molecules with lower KE then needed more energy to be freed from their liquid state, thus resulting in the increase of the heat of vaporization of water in an external static electric field.

Study of the effect of external electric fields on the heat of vaporization of water

Science Fair Project done By Peiran Gao