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05-29-1999, 04:34 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?

05-30-1999, 02:21 AM
Bubbles rise in boiling water because the water is heavier than they are and force them up. In a weightless environment, they would do neither one. Bubbles will still form on nucleation sites, and I think stay there. The surface tension of the water would prevent them from breaking loose into the water itself.

If a bubble formed in the interior of the water (using an impurity as a nucleation site) it would simply float around in the water until it reached a surface.

Or at least that's my best guess...

06-02-1999, 06:06 PM
I'm sure we've spent lots of tax dollars on this already.yes it will boil, but you would have to heat it(electricallly) in a spherical flask with a small tube where there would be a one way valve for steam to come out.

06-03-1999, 10:44 AM
A better title for this posting would have been "Boiling water in space", rather than the generic "in space...". Then I wouldn't have had to bother checking it. Please be more specific.

06-03-1999, 11:35 AM
In space, no one can hear you steam...

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"I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn't."

06-03-1999, 05:09 PM
but you would have to heat it(electricallly) in a spherical flask with a small tube where there would be a one way valve for steam to come out. -- sunbear
Well, as far as the valve, you'd only need that if you felt it was important to maintain a constant pressure. You could still boil water in a sealed container, so long as there was already sufficient air in it.

Why do you feel that you'd need a spherical container?

06-03-1999, 05:20 PM
Thanks a lot Jophiel!

I laughed so damn much my boss came over to see what the hell I was doing!