Putting Intermolecular Forces to Work

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
G. Coleman Bailey III, Avery County High School, Newland, NC
Can intermolecular forces be used to improve the heating of fluids? By using capillary action, we intended to increase the efficiency of heating systems. The hypothesis was that the capillary tubes would improve the heating efficiency, making it heat faster. This would make radiators and other heating systems more efficient.  There were three trials on more than 20 configurations of capillary tubes and water.   The first trial was the control. We boiled 400 mL of water and took the temperature every minute. The second trial was the same as the first, except with 25 g of hot glue added to the water. The 25 g of hot glue was added because that is how much is used in the system. The last trial was conducted with capillary tubes all the way around the inside of the beaker. What was found was that the water with plain glue was much slower than the control. We also tested numbers of tubes from 20-100 in increments of 20. The water with the capillary tubes not only heated faster than the water with glue, but faster than the control also. In conclusion, the capillary tubes improved the heating of the water with hot glue mix by five minutes. This data supported the hypothesis. The capillary tubes heated faster than the control by two minutes.