Why does Water Dance On A Hot Surface?

This Water Dancing is caused because of The Leidenfrost effect, let us read more about it.

The Leidenfrost effect, occurs when a liquid comes into contact with a solid that is at a temperature well above the liquid’s boiling point. Upon contact, a layer of vapor forms between the liquid-solid interface, creating a vapor barrier between the two. There are many examples of this phenomenon, ranging from something you may have seen in your kitchen water “dancing” around in a pan to things you shouldn’t try at home dipping your hand into a pot of molten lead. [1]

  • Until 100 degrees C, the water droplets will get collected in the container. As they begin to boil.
  • Between 100 degrees C & 220 degrees C the droplets will boil and evaporate as soon as they come in contact with the container.
  • But, 220 degrees C after you will see that the water will start to form small droplets which will energetically move around and it will look as if the water drops are dancing on the hot surface.[2]

So, because of the Leidenfrost effect, the water droplets start dancing on the hot surface.

You can see this phenomenon by:

1.Take a pan on a electric or gas stove.

2.Heat it till on full gas for a while

3.Then once its very hot, sprinkle little amount of water on top of the pan

4.You will observe that, the water form small smooth marble looking droplets which start dancing on top of the heated pan because of the Leidenfrost Effect.


[1] Leidenfrost Effect(Andrew Griesmer, COMSOL Blogs)

[2]Temperatures (Abhijeet Mahato, SciLynk.in)

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