When you dip a fork into a plate of hot food right off the stove and pull it out again with a forkful of food, it generates water vapour steam from the temperature difference. I am wondering how the shape of this steam is formed in the absence of external forces like wind; is it governed by the Navier-Stokes equations, and if so, how? Does the shape change is the steam is of a material other than water?

This phenomenon is described in this video: https://youtu.be/fAQLlG-elTI

I hope I described the question well, but I am happy to clarify anything if it is not. I am just curious to know how steam forms the wonderful shapes/formations that it does. Thank you!

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    $\begingroup$ This is called convection. Due to the temperature difference, hot air rises with the steam. Are you interested in a model of this phenomenon? $\endgroup$ – Alex Trounev Aug 13 '19 at 2:59
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    $\begingroup$ The water vapor is mixed with the air, so there is really no identifiable boundary. The water vapor partial pressure is high near the fork and decreases with distance from the fork. $\endgroup$ – Chet Miller Aug 13 '19 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ Yes @AlexTrounev I am interested in a model not of the convection, but of the shape that the steam makes as it rises from the fork. $\endgroup$ – ProgrammingEnthusiast Aug 14 '19 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ @ProgrammingEnthusiast Can you post a photo of what interests you? $\endgroup$ – Alex Trounev Aug 14 '19 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexTrounev I have added a video of the phenomenon to the post. I guess the fact I needed a video as opposed to a picture indicates time is a variable we're dealing with. $\endgroup$ – ProgrammingEnthusiast Aug 16 '19 at 0:27

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