# Is water boiling an excited state?

I was wondering and arguing (pro) with a friend that the process of water boiling is an excitation. I based my opinion on the theory that excitation is an increase in the energy level of an atom.

I also consider the heat supplied by the burner to be responsible for an increase in the thermal energy which in turn increases the kinetic energy of the atoms.

I want to know if my assumptions are correct or there is something I am missing or maybe I have the whole thing wrong.

• Frankly, the process of boiling water tends to bore me... The proportion of atoms/molecules in an excited state, while a function of temperature, does not increase significantly from room temperature to 100C. Feb 22 '16 at 23:40

$$\Delta E \sim \frac{3}{2} k \Delta T$$
For $\Delta T\sim100$K, this equates to 48meV. For comparison, "energy levels of an atom" (electron transition energies) are on the order of 10eV (an equivalent "temperature" of about 77000K).