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305421980 wrote:Why is steam a worse burn? is it because it still has higher energy than boiling water at the same temp?
Well, steam has a higher energy at 100°C. Let’s visualize. Energy in boiling water is the energy water gained until heating at 100 degrees Celsius to boil. The energy in steam is the energy it gains until 100 degrees Celsius PLUS the energy it gains to turn into water vapor (latent heat of vaporization). Steam will release a LOT more energy if you get in contact with steam, so it will cause a LOT more damage.
When water goes from gas to liquid it is undergoing a phase change and therefore requires a lot more energy than just a temperature change. When steam hits your skin, energy will be released as it undergoes a phase change. This energy release causes a much worse burn than if the same amount of boiling water were to hit your skin as it would decrease in temperature but would not have to go through a phase change.
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