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05-29-1999, 03:35 PM
If you boil water on a spacecraft in space (with air pressure equal to sea level), which way do the bubbles go? Or will the water boil at all w/o gravity?

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I'm ready to meet Him
'Cause where I'm livin' ain't right
Black hate white
White hate black
It's right back to the same fight...

--DMX

05-29-1999, 03:36 PM
Sorry about this one. I accidentally clicked "refresh" when I sen the message.

------------------
I'm ready to meet Him
'Cause where I'm livin' ain't right
Black hate white
White hate black
It's right back to the same fight...

--DMX

05-30-1999, 08:12 AM
AFAIK, water will boil at zero gravity, if you can get it hot enough. This is presuming that we're talking about boiling water *inside* the space craft. (outside, water will boil instantly in the absense of atmospheric pressure.) Also AFAIK, you would not want to boil water in zero gravity because the scalding steam would go in all directions, not just up like on an Earthbound stove.

05-30-1999, 03:45 PM
Yeah, but the question wasn't whether water would boil, but where would the bubbles go? I can only speak in terms of intuition, because I have never heard of someone trying this.

I believe that the bubbles would form in the water, and would not go anywhere at first. They would get larger, and as more of them appeared, some of them would combine into even bubbles. As the bubbles got bigger and the water dimished, occasionally a bubble would touch the edge of the water and escape in to the outside air.

05-30-1999, 03:51 PM
Doh! Sorry Matt. I guess whether water would boil was part of the Q. Don't mind me...

05-30-1999, 04:02 PM
Uh, I'm still working on just what sort of device you'd use to do this. It would have to offer complete enclosure and be able to deal with an expansion in volume and you'd have to be able to see inside it so you know what the bubbles are doing. Maybe something like a (best quality available) pyrex container w/a moveable top (like the plunger in a syringe)? You might want to go ahead and wear your spacesuit while you do this.

Or maybe it's old hat to NASA - do they have coffee w/their breakfast on the shuttle?

05-30-1999, 04:23 PM
It wouldn't be that hard. Modern labs have some pretty sophisticated pressurizing equipment. You would basically need a pressure sealed oven of sorts with a window.

05-31-1999, 03:23 AM
See:
http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/ask/misc/Boiling_process_at_zero_gravity.txt

I'd like to see it, but I couldn't find any video.

-Monte



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"Oxen are slow, but the earth is patient." -- some Chinese guy

06-05-1999, 08:45 AM
Beatle: It would have to be a closed container with a one way pressure relief valve at the top. Set for very low pressure, so you'd see steam coming out. You would heat it from the other end. I doubt that they would go to the trouble of watm drinks, but maybe warm food.

06-06-1999, 12:02 AM
Let me try that url again:

quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/ask/science/Boiling_process_at_zero_gravity.txt (http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/space/ask/science/Boiling_process_at_zero_gravity.txt)

-Monte



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"Oxen are slow, but the earth is patient." -- some Chinese guy