The Leidenfrost Effect Causes Water Droplets To Climb Hills

The Leidenfrost Effect Causes Water Droplets To Climb Hills

Get a surface hot enough, and water will evaporate off of it. But get it even hotter than that—at a temperature higher than water's boiling point—and you'll witness the Leidenfrost effect. The effect occurs when a thin layer of vapor forms between a liquid and a hot surface, essentially levitating the liquid droplets so that they seem to "skitter" swiftly across said surface.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The Leidenfrost effect was first described in 1756 by Johann Gottlob Leidenfrost, a German doctor. (0:52)

  • 2

    Water droplets experiencing the Leidenfrost effect can self-propel themselves over ridges. (1:30)

  • 3

    See a "Leidenfrost maze" that directs water through walled pathways: (3:14)

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