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Heat energy homework

  1. Aug 10, 2005 #1
    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: Aug 10, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2005 #2

    Danger

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    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).
     
  4. Aug 10, 2005 #3

    russ_watters

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    Look up the term "enthalpy"....
     
  5. Aug 10, 2005 #4

    BobG

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    You do realize that 0 degrees C is equal to 273.15 degrees K, right? In other words, your question would be better phrased as
    Explain how it is possible for a 30,000 kg of snow at 273.15 deg K to contain more heat energy than 1 mL of liquid water at 373.15 deg K. (Assume a pressure of one atmosphere.)
     
  6. Aug 10, 2005 #5
    Thanks, this has helped out a lot.
     
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