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SAT® Subject Test in Physics

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Moderate

Steam or Water Burn–Ouch!

SATPHY-KXLVCK

Which would most likely cause a greater burn wound if applied to someone's skin and why?

A: 100 grams of water at the boiling point

or

B: 100 grams of steam at the boiling point

A

B: 100 grams of steam would most likely cause a greater wound because it is at a higher temperature.

B

A: 100 grams of water would most likely cause a greater wound because it is more dense.

C

B: 100 grams of steam would most likely cause a greater wound because steam absorbs more easily into the skin than liquid.

D

A: 100 grams of water would most likely cause a greater wound because it has not yet "boiled away" its heat.

E

B: 100 grams of steam would most likely cause a greater wound because it gives heat to the skin in changing to liquid; then it gives heat in lowering temperature to that of the skin.