Steam is the technical term for water vapor, the gaseous phase of water, which is formed when water boils. Water vapor cannot be seen, though in common language it is often used to refer to the visible mist of water droplets formed as this water vapor condenses in the presence of cooler air. Strictly speaking, in terms of the chemistry and physics, true steam is invisible. At lower pressures, such as in the upper atmosphere or at the top of high mountains water boils at a lower temperature than the nominal 100 °C (212 °F) at standard temperature and pressure. If heated further it becomes superheated steam.

The enthalpy of vaporization is the energy required to turn water into the gaseous form when it increases in volume by 1,600 times at standard temperature and pressure; this change in volume can be converted into mechanical work by steam engines and steam turbines. Steam engines played a central role to the Industrial Revolution and modern steam turbines are used to generate electricity. If liquid water comes in contact with a very hot substance (such as lava, or molten metal) it can create a steam explosion. Steam explosions have been responsible for many foundry accidents, and may also have been responsible for much of the damage to the plant in the Chernobyl accident.

Read more about Steam:  Types of Steam and Conversion, See Also

Other articles related to "steam":

2007 New York City Steam Explosion
... The July 18, 2007 New York City steam explosion sent a geyser of hot steam up from beneath a busy intersection, with a 40-story-high shower of mud and flying debris raining down on ... failure of a Consolidated Edison 24-inch underground steam pipe installed in 1924, at 41st Street and Lexington Avenue, near Grand Central Terminal ... The towering cloud of billowing steam, higher than the nearby 1,047-foot (319 m)-tall Chrysler Building, persisted for at least two hours, leaving a crater about 35 feet (10 m) wide and 15 ...
Half-Life 2 - Development - Distribution
... A 1 GB portion of Half-Life 2 became available for pre-load through Steam on August 26, 2004 ... When the game's release date arrived, customers were able to pay for the game through Steam, unlock the files on their hard drives and play the game immediately, without having to wait for the ... Half-Life 2 was simultaneously released through Steam, CD, and on DVD in several editions ...
2007 New York City Steam Explosion - Political Aftermath
... have leaked cold water onto the hot steam pipe ... this deadly explosion." In Boston, Massachusetts, which has a 22-mile (35 km) network of steam distribution pipes operated by Trigen Energy Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino used the event in New York to push for ... A young boy was severely burned two months earlier by a burst steam pipe in that city ...
Half-Life 2 - Development
... When coupled with Steam, it becomes easy to roll out new features. 2 on both the Windows and Mac platforms is the Steam content delivery system developed by Valve Corporation ... All Half-Life 2 players on PC are required to have Steam installed and a valid account in order to play ...
Mallet Locomotive
... The Mallet Locomotive is a type of articulated steam railway locomotive, invented by the Swiss engineer Anatole Mallet (1837 - 1919) ... of his idea combines articulation of the locomotive and compound steam use ... (called a Bissell truck) the compound steam system fed steam at boiler pressure to high pressure cylinders for the main driving wheels ...

Famous quotes containing the word steam:

    A steam ran small and terrible and shrill;
    it was so still;
    the stream ran from the oak-copse
    and returned and ran
    back into shadow.
    Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961)

    Time has an undertaking establishment on every block and drives his coffin nails faster than the steam riveters rivet or the stenographers type or the tickers tick out fours and eights and dollar signs and ciphers.
    John Dos Passos (1896–1970)

    Now that the steam engine rules the world, a title is an absurdity, still I am all dressed up in this title. It will crush me if I do not support it. The title attracts attention to myself.
    Stendhal [Marie Henri Beyle] (1783–1842)