This morning, I was staring at the tea water, waiting for it to boil. Did it ever occur to you that the rising heated water is necessary to get the temperature homogeneously distributed? But what if the hotter water with smaller density does not rise? Say, because there's no gravity?
Well, it stays where it is. And here's how boiling looks like in zero gravity: The heated water stays close to heater. Regions further away from the heater stay cooler, so the actually heated part boils earlier. Once it begins to boil, the vapor bubbles don't rise, but join each other due to surface tension. Eventually, one large bubble forms, that clings to the heater. Cool, eh? I mean, hot. It looks like this
- More Info as well as some movies about cooking water in zero gravity at this NASA site.
- Check also the bursting water balloon in zero gravity.
- And more fun with water balloons.
Also: Don't miss a demonstration how to eat tea with chopsticks, a truly essential piece of research.
Now I'm convinced the guy who constructed my heating came somewhere from outer space. That's just how things are up there, why bother. All I have to do is sleep on the ceiling.
TAGS: PHYSICS, SCIENCE, GRAVITY