Boiling Points and Melting Points

  • Thread starter Herricane
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  • #1
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In Atoms in the Family: My Life with Enrico Fermi, Laura Fermi explains some of the games they played when they were in college. The following is an excerpt from the book which I need help understanding.

"As you know, the boiling point of olive oil is higher than the melting point of tin. How can you explain that it is possible to fry in olive oil inside a tinned skillet?" (The best Italian skillets are made of tin-lined copper.)
Despite her trepidation Ginestra was able to figure out the correct answer:
"Oil does not boil, when frying. It's the water in the food that boils!"

So, does this mean that the olive oil doesn't actually reach the boiling point, but that the water is what is boiling, Right? And that the water makes the oil seem like it is boiling when it isn't actually boiling?

Do you know of any more type of tricky questions?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
alxm
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So, does this mean that the olive oil doesn't actually reach the boiling point, but that the water is what is boiling, Right? And that the water makes the oil seem like it is boiling when it isn't actually boiling?

Yes.
 
  • #3
symbolipoint
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Would it help to know that the boiling point of water is lower than the boiling point of olive oil?
 

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