Strong intermolecular forces of attraction exist between molecules of water. This is a direct result of the polar nature of water molecules. The intermolecular attractions between molecules of water can be overcome by reducing the external pressure
acting on the surface of the water. Thus, when the air space
within a sealed syringe containing water is expanded, the air trapped in the cavity exerts less pressure
on the liquid
beneath it. Under less pressure, the liquid
molecules respond by spreading out. If the water in the syringe is warmed slightly, the molecules may contain sufficient energy
to overcome the intermolecular forces of attraction, and come to a boil inside the syringe when the plunger is pulled. The objective of this activity is to allow you, the student, to devise a procedure that will allow you to find the lowest temperature at which water can be made to come to a boil within a syringe.