Drop of Liquid Nitrogen Skittering across a Frying Pan in Super Slow Motion

(Video Link)

This video shot by Modernist Cuisine shows a drop of liquid nitrogen hitting a hot frying pan. It doesn't instantly vaporize because a thin layer of vapor briefly insulates the drop. Scientists call this phenomenon the Leidenfrost Effect:

When a drop of liq­uid first con­tacts a sur­face that is much hot­ter than water’s boil­ing point, an extremely thin layer of vapor forms under the drop. This layer of vapor sus­pends the drop slightly above the sur­face, cre­at­ing the hov­er­ing effect. The vapor also acts as an insu­la­tion layer between the sur­face and liq­uid, keep­ing the liq­uid from rapidly boil­ing away. This fas­ci­nat­ing occur­rence is known as the Leidenfrost effect, named for the 18th-century German doc­tor and the­olo­gian who first described the phenomenon.

Link via Popular Science

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