Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

I recently read that:

"A drop of water landing on a hot plate at $150^o C \:(300 F)$ evaporates in a few seconds. A drop of water landing on a hot plate at $200^o C \:(400 F)$ survives a whole minute."

How would you explain this observation using physics principles?

share|improve this question
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leidenfrost_effect –  Mew May 10 '14 at 12:12

1 Answer 1

up vote 22 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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.