Is the steam from a hot liquid the heating up of the liquid itself or the air around it?


So if it’s the steam is a product of say the hot tea, would the liquid reduce as the steam is produced? Or is it the heating up of the air around it, so the amount of steam is only dependant on the temperature of the tea being more than the air around it?

In: Physics

Steam is water vapour. It is caused by the evaporation of the water in your tea. If you boil a pan of water long enough, eventually all the water will turn into steam and boil away. The water in a cup of tea is doing the same, but not enough to noticeably affect the amount in there.

What’s slightly confusing is that steam is actually invisible. What you can see are water droplets condensing in the air. That means that when the air is colder you’ll see more ‘steam’, even though your tea is the same temperature and isn’t evaporating any faster.

The steam is the liquid itself. So yes, the liquid will reduce.

Actually, steam is just water. So not only will the level of the tea in the cup go down slightly, but the concentration of the tea will increase.

The white stuff floating off your tea is condensed water vapour.

Warming water will eventually give off more vapour than can be immediately absorbed in the surrounding air, it takes a few seconds, that’s why you can see it briefly then it’s gone.

The warmer the air around the hot water the faster the vapour will be absorbed.

In cold air it will be visible longer, if it’s cold enough you can see it when you exhale