You are watching: Why is enthalpy of vaporization greater than fusion
Enthalpies of phase changes are basically connected to the electrostatic potential energies in between molecules. The initially thing you have to understand is:
There is an attrenergetic pressure in between all molecules at long(ish) ranges, and also a repelling pressure at brief ranges.
If you make a graph of potential power vs. distance between two molecules, it will certainly look somepoint like this:
Here the y-axis represents electrostatic potential power, the x-axis is radial separation (distance between the centers), and the spheres are "molecules."
Because this is a potential energy curve, you deserve to imagine the device as if it were the surchallenge of the earth, and gravity was the potential. In various other words, the white molecule "wants" to roll down the valley until it sits beside the gray molecule. If it were any type of closer than just emotional, it would certainly have to climb up an additional exceptionally steep hill. If you attempt to pull them away, aget you need to climb a hill (although it isn"t as tall or steep). The outcome is that unless tright here is enough kinetic energy for the molecules to move acomponent, they tfinish to stick together.
Now, the potential energy function between any type of 2 forms of molecules will be different, but it will certainly always have the very same basic shape. What will adjust is the "steepness," width, and depth of the valley (or "potential energy well"), and the slope of the infinitely long "hill" to the right of the well.
Because we are talking around relative enthalpies of fusion and vaporization for a offered system, we do not have to worry around just how this alters for various molecules. We simply have to think about what it indicates to vaporize or melt something, in the context of the spatial separation or relativity of molecules, and also just how that relates to the shape of this surface.
First let"s think around what happens once you include heat to a system of molecules (positive enthalpy change). Heat is a move of thermal power between a hot substance and a cold one. It is characterized by a adjust in temperature, which indicates that when you include heat to somepoint, its temperature rises (this could be widespread feeling, however in thermodynamics it is important to be extremely specific). The main thing we should recognize around this is:
Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic power of all molecules in a system
In other words, as the temperature increases, the average kinetic power (the speed) of the molecules rises.
Let"s go earlier to the potential energy diagram in between two molecules. You know that energy is conoffered, and so ignoring losses as a result of friction (tright here will not be any type of for molecules) the potential power that can be gained by a pshort article is equal to the kinetic energy it started through. In other words, if the particle is at the bottom of the well and also has actually no kinetic power, it is not going anywhere:
If it literally has actually no kinetic energy, we are at absolute zero, and this is a suitable crystal (a solid). Real substances in the real human being constantly have some thermal energy, so the molecules are constantly sort of "wiggling" roughly at the bottom of their potential energy wells, even in a solid material.
The question is, how much kinetic energy perform you have to melt the material?
In a liquid, molecules are cost-free to move but continue to be close together
This indicates you require enough power to let the molecules climb up the well at least a little little, so that they can slide roughly each other.
If we attract a "liquid" line approximating exactly how a lot energy that would take, it can look something prefer this:
The red line mirrors the average kinetic energy needed for the particles to pull apart just a little - sufficient that they deserve to "slide" roughly each other - yet not so a lot that tright here is any type of considerable area in between them. The elevation of this line compared to the bottom of the well (times Avogadro"s number) is the enthalpy of fusion.
What if we desire to vaporize the substance?
In a gas, the molecules are free to move and are exceptionally far apart
As the kinetic energy increases, ultimately tright here is sufficient that the molecules can actually fly apart (their radial separation ca method infinity). That line can look somepoint prefer this:
I have attracted the line a little little shy of the "zero" suggest - wbelow the average molecule would obtain to boundless distance - bereason kinetic energies follow a statistical circulation, which suggests that some are higher than average, some are reduced, and also right around this suggest is wright here sufficient molecules would certainly be able to vaporize that we would certainly speak to it a phase shift. Depfinishing on the specific substance, the line can be higher or reduced.
In any kind of case, the elevation of this line compared to the bottom of the well (times Avogadro"s number) is the enthalpy of vaporization.
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As you can view, it"s a lot greater up. The factor is that for melting, the molecules simply need sufficient energy to "slide" around each various other, while for vaporization, they require enough power to totally escape the well. This implies that the enthalpy of vaporization is always going to be higher than the enthalpy of fusion.