From the More Excitement Than I Was Looking For files:

Superheated water

Andy Grimm November 08, 2011 21:53

I did this with coffee once… I had intended to warm up a half cup of room-temperature coffee, but I accidentally entered ten minutes rather than one minute. Quite a mess!

Michael K Johnson November 08, 2011 21:55

So much for the suggestion I read that it will happen only with pure water, not with (say) coffee…

Tim Janik November 08, 2011 22:33

I have found the following explanation on Wikipedia quite helpful,

The “Myth” section describes how to avoid it and for the ones interested in the physics behind it, just follow “Nucleation”.

Ed Burnette November 08, 2011 23:00

Wow, I didn’t know that.

Stephen John Smoogen November 08, 2011 23:31

Well superheating where you get it to explode in spontaneous boiling (usually from dropping something into it) is with pure or nearly pure water. However if you do set it for 10 minutes you will get super boiling (I can’t remember the correct term). The water is boiling, splashes out and continues to boil versus ‘cooling down’ which then makes it splash more.

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