Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can clothes dry without any air movement

  1. Feb 7, 2010 #1
    say there was no wind at all, no air movement. would your clothes still dry?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes, if the room were large enough. Water would evaporate from the clothing and slowly diffuse outwards.
  4. Feb 7, 2010 #3

    even if the air molecules were frozen in space as if it were a solid, would the water still diffuse?
  5. Feb 7, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    By air movement it was assumed that you meant macroscopic air currents (aka wind), in which case marcusl has already given you the correct answer.

    If you are referring to both air and water frozen solid at absolute zero (-273.15 degrees) then could you please repost your question to make that clear.
  6. Feb 7, 2010 #5
    Clothes would dry extremely well in vacuum.
  7. Feb 7, 2010 #6

    Doug Huffman

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Diffusion occurs in solids. Vacuum/freeze drying is effective and incorporates sublimation. At absolute zero physical processes are much reduced.
  8. Feb 7, 2010 #7
    The water vapour would be less dense than the surrounding air, so it would make it's own air movement.
  9. Feb 7, 2010 #8

    Doug Huffman

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    STP air density is about 1.2 kg m^3. Air molecular mass averages about 29 while water is 18. Maybe the bloke's "movement" is buoyancy?
  10. Feb 7, 2010 #9
    How come?
  11. Feb 7, 2010 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    There's not a lot of vapour pressure - the water would instantly boil
  12. Feb 8, 2010 #11
    And boiling is just another word for the water molecules diffusing out of the clothes.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook