FAQs About Water and Steam


While IAPWS is not an educational organization, we occasionally get questions from students and others seeking basic scientific information about water and steam and their uses. While we are not equipped to answer such questions individually, we have decided to collect answers to some of the most common questions in the hope that we can meet the needs of many of the people who come across this website looking for general information about water.

If you do not find the answer to the question you are looking for, we can point you to some additional resources.

If you are looking for information specifically about the structure and activities of IAPWS, try our page of FAQs about IAPWS.

Suggestions for questions to add to the FAQ and feedback or corrections on existing answers may be addressed to info@iapws.org.


Frequently Asked Questions About Water and Steam

How are water properties related to the temperature scale and to other fundamental (SI) units?

How does a microwave heat water and will the water blow up in my face?

What is the effect of pressure on the boiling of water?

What is the isotopic composition of ordinary water?

What is the structure of a water molecule?

Why does liquid water have a density maximum?

Why does water boil at a lower temperature at high altitudes?

Why does water expand when it freezes?

Why does water have such a high specific heat capacity?



What are some other resources for learning about water and steam?


Updated December 3, 2013