Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Steam Table Nomenclature

  1. Jun 30, 2014 #1
    I'm curious as to why steam tables typically present liquid properties with an "f" subscript, such as ρf.The gas properties use a "g" subscript, so I would expect the liquid properties to use "l". My first guess at the meaning of the "f" would be that it means "fluid", but this wouldn't make sense since both liquids and gases are subcategories of fluids. Am I missing something obvious?

    Some examples:
    ASME steam tables are also presented this way but I can't find any free examples online.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    'l' can be mistaken for a number of different things, like the numeral one for example. 'f' means fluid, specifically the properties of the substance in the liquid phase. Think of it as a special convention for presenting thermodynamic data.
  4. Jun 30, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the reply. I admit the 'l' isn't terribly clear in this font, but a little forthought in font choice could prevent the ambiguity. Personally, I find the 'f' more confusing, but maybe that's just me. It seems just as silly to use an 'm' subscript for the liquid phase since liquids are composed of matter.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook