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A pressure cooker is a sealed container that allows steam to escape when it exceeds a predetermined pressure. How does this device reduce the time needed for cooking?
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Intermolecular Forces and Liquids and Solids
University of Central Florida
University of Toronto
In physics, a solid is a state of matter characterized by rigidity and resistance to changes of shape or volume. Solid objects have a definite volume, they resist forces (such as pressure, tension and shear) in all directions, and they have a shape that does not change smoothly with time. The branch of physics that studies solids is called solid-state physics. The physical properties of solids are highly related to their chemical composition and structure. For example, the melting point of ice is significantly lowered if its crystal structure is disrupted.
A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a (nearly) constant volume independent of pressure. As such, a liquid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, gas and plasma). A liquid is made up of tiny vibrating particles of matter, such as atoms, held together by intermolecular bonds. Water is, by far, the most common liquid on Earth. Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Most liquids resist compression, although others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly constant density. A distinctive property of the liquid state is surface tension, leading to wetting phenomena.
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Okay. So to find the answer to this question, we need to turn to the phase diagram for water. Sarah, Phase diagram. Well, look, something like this where we've got ah vapor phase down here. Solid phase. Actually, water goes the other way. That solid phase here and our liquid phase in the middle. And we have pressure over here in temperature over here. So the way that when we normally cook food at, like, one atmosphere here, food is mostly water and is that water begins to boil. That water comes over here, we heat it up, and then it starts to boil right here at the boiling point, which is going to be 100 degrees Celsius at one atmosphere. Now then is as hot as boiling water can get before it turns into steam. Once it's steam, we can keep raising the temperature. But when it's still want liquid water, we can't do that. No, we can't raise the temperature anymore. What pressure cooking does is it allows us it allows us to raise the temperature of the boiling water. So if we raise the pressure to somewhere up here, then we come over here to our new boiling point, and it will be somewhere over here, say it may be out of 115 degrees Celsius. So the reason that pressure cooker is can cook faster is because the pressure raises the temperature of the boiling water. And so because the temperature the boiling water is hotter, the food cooks faster.
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