Steam isn’t the white mist that forms when water boils

Science tip:

It’s a common misconception that the white mist coming out of a kettle is steam.

This has appeared in the PSLE a few times. We commonly call the white mist steam – and most people will agree on that term. In science, however, steam is considered to be the hot water vapour released on boiling and is invisible.

The white mist is actually made up of water droplets formed from the condensation of the hot water vapour (steam) upon contact with the surrounding air.

I know, it’s a bit tedious and frankly quite picky… but this is what it takes to be exam smart!