Science Questions

Why is it that electric kettles make noise when they’re heating up?

Sun, 15th Nov 2009

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Producing Planets

Question

Andrew and David McClusky asked:

Why is it that electric kettles make noise when they’re heating up?

Answer

The answer is because the element puts so much energy into the water.  The water expands around the element to a point where it wants to boil.  It forms a bubble of water gas, steam.  And that bubble, as it rises through the water, then it gets cool, it collapses in on itself and does what's called cavitating.  It goes “bang”, or “pop” it’s a sort of reverse pop, and that’s the noise you can hear.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL