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Q & A: water condensing under hot tea cup

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Most recent answer: 05/23/2018
Q:
I did not understand a phenomenon and would like an explanation by an expert. I buy tea from my office's tea vendor who serves the hot tea in a paper cup. The paper cup is so designed that the base of the cup has a rim which keeps the base 1 cm away from the surface it is kept on. Now, the vendor keeps the tea-cup on his stall's wooden counter for me to take away. When i lift the cup from the surface, i find water condensed on the wooden surface of the counter which vaporizes in a few seconds. Please explain how this happens.
- Alok (age 28)
New Delhi, India
A:

This is a wonderful question. I don't know the answer, but will try to do some experiments to see under what conditions, if any,  I can reproduce the effect. Meanwhile, perhaps some readers have ideas.

Mike W.


(published on 05/23/2018)

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