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ERIC Number: EJ1045700
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Invisibility of Steam
Greenslade, Thomas B., Jr.
Physics Teacher, v52 n8 p459 Nov 2014
Almost everyone "knows" that steam is visible. After all, one can see the cloud of white issuing from the spout of a boiling tea kettle. In reality, steam is the gaseous phase of water and is invisible. What you see is light scattered from the tiny droplets of water that are the result of the condensation of the steam as its temperature falls below 100 °C (under standard conditions). The article provides the first example of this lesson from an 1887 textbook by Alfred Payson Gage (1836-1903) used in the Boston English High School where he taught.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A