Why does steam happen?

Is it because of temperature difference? Is it evaporation or condensation?

Update:

Theron Q sounds like you're saying something I don't understand. When something goes faster how is more relevant substance being produced? Like the irrelevant substance is being "filtered" out by very fast speeds? That speed can't separate substance that sticks together?

6 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Steam is the invisible vapour produced when water boils. What most people call "steam" is a mist of tiny water droplets formed when water vapour is cooled.

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  • 6 years ago

    Allan has a very good point: What is steam and what is vapour (or vapor in the USA).

    Often steam is what is visible while vapour is not. Yet steam in French is called, la vapeur, which is the origin of the word, vapour. Like many other English words, there is a Latin version and a Germanic one, e.g. to start or to commence, etc. ... but I digress! ;-)

    Usually, in common English, vapour is the name given to water in a gaseous form. All matter can have four states: solid, liquid, gaseous and plasma.

    Steam is then the name given to gaseous water (vapour) that condenses into visible droplets. But why and how does it happen? Well, for a given temperature, the air can contain only a certain amount of water in a gaseous form. For example, a cubic meter of air at 0 C can't contain more than 5 grams water but at 15 C, it is up to 13 grams.

    So when the air cools down as it does by adiabatic effect when it rises into colder layers of the atmosphere, once reaching what we call, the dew point temperature, it condesenses into tiny water droplets that form the clouds, the steam out of a stream engine train, or your mouth when you breathe in cold weather.

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  • 6 years ago

    Water doesn't need to boil to cause steam. Steam is water evaporating. You can see 'steam' rising from water that is warmer than the air temp. The water could be quite cold - but - still warmer than the air surrounding it. Like a river or lake 'steaming' into the cold winter air.

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  • 6 years ago

    Steam is water that has changed state from liquid to gas due to a rise in temperature, just like ice turns to liquid water when heated up.

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  • 6 years ago

    Steam is determined by temperature and surrounding pressure. Water can be at any temperature and still remain at liquid form if the surrounding pressure is not suitable.

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  • Increase of the motion of relevant, conscious substance.

    TQRP

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