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I recently read that:

A drop of water landing on a hot plate at 150°C (300°F) evaporates in a few seconds. A drop of water landing on a hot plate at 200°C (400°F) survives a whole minute.

How would you explain this observation using physics principles?

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up vote 32 down vote accepted

That is the Leidenfrost effect.

If the surface is hot enough, a layer of vapor exists between the hot surface and the droplet, insulating the droplet from the full heat.

The droplet levitates above the hot surface.

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