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.
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Famous quotes containing the word steam:
“Blotting the sun
Stinging the eyes.
The hot seeds steam underground
—Gary Snyder (b. 1930)
“Clean the spittoons.
The steam in hotel kitchens,
And the smoke in hotel lobbies,
And the slime in hotel spittoons:
Part of my life.”
—Langston Hughes (19021967)
“The windows were then closed and the steam turned on. There was a sign up saying that no one could smoke, but you couldnt help it. You were lucky if you didnt burst into flames.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)