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Class 9-10, JEE & NEET
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Water as ice has a cooling effect whereas water as steam may cause severe burns. Explain these observations.
Both ice and steam are the physical states of the same substance i.e. water. However, they differ in their nature. Ice on coming in contact with skin (at a higher temperature) absorbs energy as latent heat of fusion from the skin and melts. Since energy has been taken up from the body, a cooling sensation is experienced. But when steam comes in contact with the skin (lower temperature) it releases energy which causes severe burns on the skin.