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ERIC Number: EJ998958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Student Understanding of Liquid-Vapor Phase Equilibrium
Boudreaux, Andrew; Campbell, Craig
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n6 p707-714 Jun 2012
Student understanding of the equilibrium coexistence of a liquid and its vapor was the subject of an extended investigation. Written assessment questions were administered to undergraduates enrolled in introductory physics and chemistry courses. Responses have been analyzed to document conceptual and reasoning difficulties in sufficient detail to be of practical use to instructors. Even after instruction on the relevant material, many students fail to recognize that for one-component systems in which a liquid and its vapor coexist in equilibrium, the pressure is controlled solely by the temperature. Although most students seem to realize that vaporization and condensation both take place, few are able to construct a coherent, step-by-step explanation for how dynamic phase equilibrium is established. Implications for instruction are discussed. (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A