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Water boils sans bubbles

Thermodynamic spectacle illustrates insulating power of steam

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6:14pm, September 12, 2012

Dip your finger in a bucket of water and then quickly dip it in molten lead — you won’t get burned, thanks to an insulating layer of steam that forms around the finger. Chemists have now exploited this phenomenon, known as the Leidenfrost effect, to boil water without making bubbles.

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