Steam Kettles - Chemistry Project answers questions

Steam Kettles

Boiling kettle

To see water turning into steam, boil some water in a pot. When it boils, do you see the steam? What does the steam do? Why?

Try punching a hole in an aluminum pie pan and putting it over the steaming pot (Wear oven mitts). What happens to the steam? Now take the pie pan off the steam (tilting it towards you to shield yourself from the steam so you don't get burned). Punch another hole and try it again with two holes, then three and four. What difference do you see?

If you have the kind of kettle that whistles, that's because when the water inside the kettle boils, it turns into steam. The steam is crowded inside the kettle and tries to find a way out, but the only way is through the little hole of the whistle. When the steam pushes its way through the whistle, it makes the whistling noise to let you know that the water has boiled and it's time to pour your tea.

More about steam

Bibliography and further reading about steam:

Chemistry home

Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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