Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: why cry over spilt milk

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 08/28/2008
When you boil milk, you have to be very careful to ensure that it does not boil over and spill on the burner. there is no such problem when you boil water. Why?
- Twinkle (age 20)
Rohtak, India
One reason is pretty obvious. Any milk that spills is full of sugar and protein and sometimes fat. That stuff really makes a mess if it gets hot. Water just evaporates when it's hot.
Just from visual observation, I have the impression that milk is also much more likely to boil over. Perhaps this is because a sort of sticky skin forms on the surface, making the boilng occur by large bubbles breaking the skin. These large bubbles tend to forcefully toss the surface around, creating some spill.

Mike W.

(published on 08/28/2008)

Follow-up on this answer.