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In a closed flask at zero degrees Celsius, all three forms of water exist. Which form of water will have the maximum average kinetic energy?

The answer is that all forms of water will have same energy. Why?

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  • $\begingroup$ All will have the same Gibbs free energy. What does that mean for kinetic energy? $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 19, 2015 at 17:45

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You can consider "average kinetic energy" equivalent to "temperature". The question doesn't directly mention if the contents of the flask are all at the same temperature, but if they are at the same temperature then they all have the same average kinetic energy.

Considering that water has a triple point at 0 degrees Celsius and a certain pressure, I think that we can reasonably interpret the question as meaning that the three phases are in equilibrium at this triple point. So, in this case all three "forms" (more formally called "phases") of water are present and they all have the same average kinetic energy (temperature). None of them has a higher average kinetic energy than either of the others, so you can't say that any of them has a "maximum" average kinetic energy.

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    $\begingroup$ Water has a triple point at 0.01 degrees Celsius, not 0. $\endgroup$
    – DanielLC
    Mar 19, 2015 at 21:22

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