Heat energy homework

skrewd1
Explain how it is possible for a 30,000 kg of snow at 0 deg C to contain more heat energy than 1 mL of liquid water at 100 deg C. (Assume a pressure of one atmosphere.)

Last edited:

Gold Member
This is definitely way out of my area, but I have a couple of guesses. For one thing, if that snow is taken as being a certain number of water molecules, there are an awful lot more of them than there are in your 1ml sample. Even if the heat content of an individual molecule is very small, maybe the total is enough to overcome it. Also, if you count the snow as a structure, there is air trapped inside it (in water too, but very little). That adds its own heat to the pile. If it matters any, I would suspect a temperature differential through the height of the snow mass because of compression effects. Lastly, the snow is less likely to give up the heat that it has, if both samples are at the same ambient temperature (I don't know if that has anything to do with the question, though).

Mentor
Look up the term "enthalpy"...