Why does hot water give off steam?
I don't understand it.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Steam is actually water molecules that have escaped into the gas phase. When the temperature is really hot all the molecules have lots and lots of kinetic energy. They are held together in the liquid form by their intermolecular forces but once they start moving really really fast due to an increase in kinetic energy (you should know temperature is a measure of kinetic energy) they can overcome the attractive forces they have towards one another and escape into the gaseous phase. This is why hot water gives off steam.
This is not exactly evaporation, it's vaporization. Evaporation is a general term and it usually refers to what happens at room temperature because even at that temperature some molecules do have enough kinetic energy to escape.Vaporization is a more accurate way of describing this phenomenon.
- 1 decade ago