Problem: Spilling room-temperature water over your skin on a hot day will cool you down. Spilling vegetable oil (of the same temperature as the water) over your skin on a hot day will not. Explain the difference.

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We have to explain why water spilled on skin produces cooling while vegetable oil does not.


When a liquid evaporates, it absorbs heat from its surroundings.

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Spilling room-temperature water over your skin on a hot day will cool you down. Spilling vegetable oil (of the same temperature as the water) over your skin on a hot day will not. Explain the difference.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Calorimetry concept. You can view video lessons to learn Calorimetry. Or if you need more Calorimetry practice, you can also practice Calorimetry practice problems.