Few days ago I had to boil water to cook for myself a meal, and then I wondered what is the fastest way to boil that pot of water , any suggestions?(of course I had like to get some formulas and relation between the amount of water and the shape of the pot).


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    $\begingroup$ Detonate a nuclear bomb inside of the pot. Seriously, though, I think more information (amount of energy avaliable, amount of water, size of pot, etc.) would be needed to give a practical answer to this question. $\endgroup$ – Dave Coffman Sep 9 '14 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ You might find the insights in an earlier answer physics.stackexchange.com/a/129333/26969 useful as you think about this. $\endgroup$ – Floris Sep 9 '14 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ @DaveCoffman I want to get as much abstract formula as possible,we can assume that the amout of water is L,the radius of the button is R , the hight of the pot is H and we want to heat the water from room temperature to boiling state ,about amount of energy I cant realy say much.... $\endgroup$ – Gil Sep 9 '14 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you need to heat water? Are you having soup? Just heat the food. Ping. $\endgroup$ – akrasia Sep 9 '14 at 21:46
  • Maximize the thermal contact between the heat source and the water
  • Minimize the thermal contact between the pot and the environment
  • Avoid (or recapture) evaporation (put a lid on it)

Of course if you want to cook food quickly, you need a pressure cooker (temperature of water goes above 100 C and you get significant increase in cooking speed as the chemical reactions speed up a lot).

If you have a finite amount of heat (say an amount of gas to burn) then you will get the water hottest (most efficient heating) when you use a counterflow mechanism: let the hottest gas heat the already-warm water, and extract the last of the heat from the gas by flowing it past the coldest water. This is done for high efficiency heating systems.

When you have an electrical heating element (like in a kettle), immersing it inside the water ensures all the heat is transferred to the liquid. In general - look at the heat escaping. If you minimize that, you maximize the heating efficiency.


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