Can water boil and freeze at the same time?

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Offline thedoc

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Can water boil and freeze at the same time?
« on: 15/06/2012 09:30:02 »
Luke Bizeray  asked the Naked Scientists:
I found your naked astronomy podcast on itunes and was most disappointed when I had listened to them all and had to wait an entire month for the next one!

I subsequently downloaded your entire backlog of podcasts and have been working my through from 2005 to present. I'm currently enjoying the anniversary of aspirin, and while I wanted to wait until I was up to date before I started hitting you with questions, I just can't! So, here it goes...
What happens when water boils? I understand that the liquid changes to gas, but this happens with evaporation as well, well below whatever "boiling point" applies. I also understand that if water is placed in a vacuum below "freezing point" (again, whatever temperature THAT is) it can boil and freeze at the same time?  Can water that is boiling get any hotter or does the extra energy just go into converting it to steam faster?
Also, is there any relation between an elements atomic number and it's boiling and/or melting point?
Thank you for your time and your podcast,

Berry, NSW Australia.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/06/2012 09:30:02 by _system »