Why haven't my clothes turned to liquid?

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Offline Souffle

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Why haven't my clothes turned to liquid?
« on: 05/08/2009 11:56:05 »
Liquids steal your heat and turn to vapour when they touch your skin, but why don't solids do the same thing and turn to liquid? Shouldn't I be typing this naked, cold and covered in jean and t-shirt coloured liquid?

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Offline Karsten

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Why haven't my clothes turned to liquid?
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/2009 13:00:28 »
Scientists would be very busy if they began wondering why something that has not been observed anywhere is not happening. I guess it is enough work already to wonder why something observable is happening or is not happening in all cases.

Have you noticed your jeans and T-shirt liquefying in other situations? Or any fabric?
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Offline Bored chemist

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Why haven't my clothes turned to liquid?
« Reply #2 on: 05/08/2009 20:22:35 »
The bonds holding the materials of your clothes together have binding energies that are much greater than the energy typically found in molecules at room temeperature (or even a fairly hot wash).
On the other hand the energy required to get liquids into the the gas phase are rather smaller so water evaporates, but clothes don't melt.
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