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Superheated Steam

(a) Water in a flask is heated to is boiling point. The gas exiting the flask cools while passing through the copper tubing. Condensed water droplets are seen exiting the end of the copper tube.

(b) The temperature of this condensed water is much less than 100°C. It is not hot enough to cause a burn.

(c) A bunsen burner flame is used to heat the condenser coils of the copper tube. This raises the temperature of the exiting water above the boiling point. It's gaseous water above 100°C that is exiting the copper tubing.

(d) This water vapor is so hot that it instantly ignites a match that is placed at its opening.

(e) Still being heated by the bunsen burner flame, the exiting water vapor is hot enough to scorch a sheet of paper ...

(f) ... and that spells phun for the people doing and watching the demonstration!

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Uploaded on January 27, 2011