Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 17 - Think and Explain: 79

Answer

The high pressure inside the sealed radiator raises the boiling point for water. The water doesn’t boil, even though its temperature is greater than $100^{\circ}C$. This is the same principle behind a pressure cooker's operation. When the radiator cap is removed, the pressure inside is released and the high-temperature water immediately begins to boil, resulting in a small explosion. Give your car's radiator a chance to cool down before slowly removing the cap. If you must remove it while the radiator is hot, make sure to use thick gloves, and stay out of the way of the outlet.

Work Step by Step

This is discussed on page 326.
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