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Paper hung over saltwater and freshwater

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Published on Feb 13, 2012

Two paper strips were hung above a cup of saltwater and a cup of freshwater, respectively. The paper strips touched the water. This video shows the temperature distribution after the system to come to equilibrium. The paper area above the water line in the freshwater cup was about 7°C cooler than room temperature. This cooling effect wasn't as significant above the saltwater, though visual observation confirmed approximately the same height of capillary action.

This experiment suggests that salt ions can diffuse into paper through capillary action. In the presence of salt ions, water evaporates more slowly from the paper.

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