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Name: Carla
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: IL
Country: USA
Date: Summer 2009

In metallic bonds, what is heat vaporization?

Hi Carla, perhaps you mean the heat of vaporization (added "of")? Heat of vaporization is the amount of energy required for a substance to undergo a phase change and turn into gas (vaporization). This assumes no temperature change, so typically this quantity is measured at the boiling point of liquids. For example, if you have water that is at its boiling temperature, around 100C at sea level, it takes additional energy for the water to turn to gas - you have to keep heating it to keep it boiling even if you are already at 100C. This extra energy is known as the heat of vaporization. You might notice when you are boiling water (and this is an experiment you can do yourself -- but use proper safety technique!), that when you start heating cool water, its temperature rises steadily. However, once it reaches boiling point, the temperature stops rising, even though you are still adding heat. The reason for this is because the heat absorbed by the water is now being used to vaporize (boil) the water instead of raising its temperature. If you search on the Internet for "heat of vaporization", you can read a lot more about this topic. In the context of metal, metals also have their own respective heats of vaporization, so the principle is the same, although molten metals typically require much, much higher temperatures than water.

If I am not understanding your question properly, write back and I can try again.

Hope this helps,
Burr Zimmerman

Even metals evaporate, although usually at high temperature. However, mercury "boils" at about 350 C. Its heat of vaporization is about 59 kJ/mol. There is nothing "magical" I can think of that is unique to metals compared to other substances, except that metals tend to have high boiling points. As with other substances one has to be aware of what species are present in the vapor vs. liquid phase.

Vince Calder

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