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Name: Molly
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

What makes rubbing alcohol and perfume evaporate?

Rubbing alcohol evaporates readily because at room temperature it has a "high vapor pressure." That mean that molecules of alcohol have a pretty high probability of escaping from the the liquid surface. In order for this to be so, the intermolecular attractive forces must be fairly weak compared to the energy the alcohol is absorbing from its container and the surrounding environment in the form of heat.

On the other hand, water-water forces are relatively strong, and so its vapor pressure tends to be lower than that of alcohol (i.e., water is less volatile).

I could go into more detail about hydrogen bonding and so forth but that's the bottom line.

good question!


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