I had a question regarding heating steam to a very high temperature (hypothetically). So let's say that we have trapped some steam in an adiabatic container that is supplied heat from a heater connected to it, if we raise the temperature of the source to a very very very high temperature what would happen? Will the temperature of steam stop increasing and the heat energy supplied will start to be used up in a similar fashion to the latent heat or will steam reach the temperature of the source which is infinitely high is it possible that the steam may get converted to any other form of matter like we have plasma?

  • $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that both the temperature and pressure will increase $\endgroup$
    – Bob D
    Feb 18, 2023 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


In an enclosed container with heat being added, the steam will behave as any gas would: its pressure and temperature will climb until the temperature of the gas equals the temperature of the heat source. If the temperature gets high enough, the steam will burst the walls of the container.

If you can continue to heat the steam even further, eventually the hydrogens will dissociate (break loose) from the oxygen. Adding more heat will tear the electrons off of the hydrogen and oxygen atoms and you will then have a plasma.

Heating the plasma really, really hot will cause the protons and neutrons in the oxygen nuclei to disintegrate into helium nuclei. Mayhem and carnage will result.

Note that at and above plasma temperatures, there is no material substance from which you could make the walls of the container!

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks!!!!!!!!! $\endgroup$ Feb 19, 2023 at 17:20

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