UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
If a smell is made of solid particles floating in the air, if you smell something, does that mean the object being smelled is losing volume and mass?
Question Date: 2013-03-08
Answer 1:

A smell could be solid particles floating in the air, but it could also be a gas or a mist (liquid particles floating in the air). However, in any of these cases, the compound causing the smell is definitely losing mass as it is whisked away by the air and into your nose.

Answer 2:

YES. Atoms in the perfume actually leave the liquid state and become isolate gas molecules. The process is evaporation; after a while the perfume is "all gone".

Answer 3:

I think smells are usually liquid rather than solid, but yes, if you are smelling something, then it is losing mass. Not a *lot* of mass, mind you, but some.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use