Temperature at which a liquid is converted to vapour when heated. At the boiling point, addition of heat results in the transformation of the liquid into its vapour without an increase in temperature. A liquid's boiling point varies according to the liquid's characteristics and the applied pressure. Water at standard atmospheric pressure, or sea level, boils at 212 °F (100 °C), while ethanol boils at about 172 °F (78 °C). At higher altitudes, boiling points are lower and foods can take longer to cook; pressure cookers can be used to increase the pressure so that the boiling point is raised.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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