I have read this question:

Why does hot oil explode when pouring water on it?

It explains in a classical way clearly, that the boiling point of oil is hotter then water, and water changes to steam very fast and explodes the oil.

Oil heats up faster than water because it has a lower specific heat capacity. As it reaches past boiling point of water as the water is denser than oil so its at the bottom. Then it turns into steam and the steam expands splashing the oil everywhere. As for dropping water into already being hot oil its pretty much the same. Its interface determines the rate of heat flow.

Now I understand that. My question is QM, what happens according to QM, exactly how do the oil molecules explode? How does the water molecule turn to steam molecules so fast and why do these water/steam molecules cause the oil molecules to explode? How does a molecule of oil even explode at the QM level?

I do understand that when there is a classical explanation, then we should not bother with QM, though, I believe this is the case when we could look into the deeper QM level.


  1. what is the QM explanation, how do the water/steam molecules expand and transfer their energy to the oil molecule, and how does an oil molecule at the QM level explode?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Emilio Pisanty, ACuriousMind Jun 25 at 19:15

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    $\begingroup$ What is the world do you think that asking for a QM framing is going to add to the existing treatment? The processes at work happen at scale and incoherently. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jun 25 at 18:02
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    $\begingroup$ The oil molecules don't explode. The material just spatters everywhere. Nothing happens to the molecules other than an increase of kinetic energy (increased in temperature for the bulk material). $\endgroup$ – electronpusher Jun 25 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ "I do understand that this question is not useful and irrelevant, but I still want you to answer it"? Is this something you consider constructive? If so, why? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jun 25 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because, as the question itself explains, the premises are faulty. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jun 25 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ @electronpusher thank you, are you saying that the molecules stay intact all the way? is it just kinetic energy from the vibrational energies of the water/steam that moves the oil? $\endgroup$ – Árpád Szendrei Jun 25 at 19:43

Think about the water, 1 litre of water converts to approx 1700 litres of steam, so throw droplets of water onto hot oil and the water sinks & turns to steam very quickly blowing hot oil around...

  • $\begingroup$ thank you, are you saying that the hot oil molecules vibrational energies (heat) pushes the oil molecules away, giving them kinetic energy? $\endgroup$ – Árpád Szendrei Jun 25 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ so it is the volume change of the molecules' and the material? $\endgroup$ – Árpád Szendrei Jun 25 at 19:50

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