Is there a scientist in the house?

I’ve GOT to have some help with this. Why, oh why does this happen? Someone explain the physics of this to me:

We put a ceramic flat top range in our house last summer. When we boil water in a pot on it, a weird thing happens: it starts shaking and vibrating on the stove. The first time it happened, I thought a truck was going by and making the pot shake.

Why does this happen? Please, give me an explanation and ease my mind.

One thought on “Is there a scientist in the house?

  1. I think it’s the drops of water that have clung to the bottom of the pot when you were filling it that are boiling away and making the pot shake. We have a glass flat top range (or maybe it’s ceramic too, I don’t know, it just came with the apartment) and the same thing happens. If you had a gas or even a regular electric element, the steam would escape under the rings of the stovetop as it evaporated, but there’s no place for it to go between the flat bottom of the pot and the flat surface of the stove without rattling the pot. If you lift the pot up for a minute as soon as it starts to do that, the steam will evaporate and then it will lie still when you put it back down.

    Just in case you haven’t figured this out in the last year. It’s the first time I saw this. Consider it a birthday present.


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