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Q & A: boiling point

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What is the boiling point of fresh water?
- Caroline (age 12)
Crossing Middle School
A:
Pure water, at one atmosphere of pressure, boils at 100 degrees Celsius -- that's the definition of what 100 degrees Celsius means. That corresponds to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Adding impurities to the water will raise the boiling point, and lowering the atmospheric pressure will lower the boiling point. What counts as "fresh" water may include lots of impurities ("fresh" water just means not very salty).

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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