How to freeze water in about half a second
Consider this your first class in ice wizardy In the video up top, Grant Thompson of The King of Random demonstrates to transform water to ice in seconds flat, using bottled water, a freezer. Oct 26, · Very cool trick:) I saw this on youtube and had to try it and it actually work:)Follow us on the Social Media!
September 13, We often think of 32 degrees F. Scientists call this phenomenon secojds. Supercooled water is highly unstable. Jostle it, and it suddenly freezes. Pour it onto a surface, and it transforms from liquid to icy slush. You can supercool water at home. All you need is water — distilled or purified works best — some smooth and clean containers, and a freezer.
Supercooling water is a bit like cooking rice: The more you leave it alone, the greater your chances of success. Water is the most abundant compound on Earth. But even mundane materials can sometimes behave in unexpected ways.
By the end of the countdown, the liquid in four of the six bottles had turned to ice. But the other two bottles held supercooled water. When that water was disturbed, icy filaments spread through the water from top to bottom, freezing it in seconds. How does it work? For a watef to transform into a crystalline solid, it needs a nucleation site, that is, a place for the crystals to start forming.
If there are impurities in the water, the crystals will form around them. But if the water is pure, it will remain liquid well below its freezing point. Disturbing the bottle forces a few molecules to line up in the right way, and that seeds the ice crystals. Experiments with supercooled water have helped how to freeze water in seconds develop a better understanding of the bizarre properties of the most abundant compound on Earth.
Altocumulus clouds, a type of mid-altitude cloud, contain water droplets secknds have been supercooled to 5 degrees below zero. This column first appeared in the Sept. Already a subscriber? Monitor journalism changes lives because we open that too-small box that most people think they live in. We believe news can and should expand a sense of identity hod possibility beyond narrow conventional expectations.
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Sep 13, · Supercool: Freeze water in seconds Reuters. You can supercool water at home. All you need is water – distilled or purified works best – some smooth and clean containers, and a freezer.
In the video up top, Grant Thompson of The King of Random demonstrates to transform water to ice in seconds flat, using bottled water, a freezer and some glassware. This is an example of supercooling — the process by which a very pure liquid is chilled to a temperature just below its usual freezing point without actually making the jump to its solid state. Bottled water is perfect for this, especially the kind that's been purified via reverse osmosis, a process that strips water of all its particulates.
Particulates can act as "seed crystals," or "nuclei," to which a liquid phase on the cusp of becoming solid can attach and crystalize around. In this video, a seed crystal is introduced in the form of a cube of already-frozen water. As soon as it's introduced, the liquid phase rapidly crystallizes and attaches to the solid one, kicking off a chain reaction of ice-formation.
The bottle-flick is a little trickier. If I had to guess, I'd say tapping the water bottle leads to a momentary spike in pressure. Because water solidifies more easily at higher pressure, the flick causes a seed crystal to form, which in turn triggers a cascade of ice-formation. It is true that, generally speaking, solid phases are more dense than liquid ones, and that increasing pressure therefore raises the freezing point.
Water, however, is a notable exception to this rule, in that its solid phase is actually less dense than its liquid one. This is why ice floats in liquid water, why fish at the bottom of lakes where pressure is higher don't get frozen solid in the dead of winter, and why a momentary spike in pressure would most definitely not coax the water into solid form.
On the contrary, increasing the pressure in the bottle would actually work to keep the water in its liquid phase. This is gen chem, folks. I blame my temporary mental lapse on a lack of coffee. So again, I implore any physical chemists out there to weigh in: what's going on here??? So far, I like the answer floated by Improbable , who ventures that "it may be crystallizing due to tiny bubbles of air being created.
Any physicists or chemists care to weigh in? Water that freezes as it's being poured out of the bottle also solidifies upon exposure to a seed crystal, which, in this case, is an already-frozen surface. This is similar to the effect observed when freezing rain , supercooled by its flightpath through sub-freezing layers of atmosphere, comes into contact with an object cooled to a temperature below freezing. The result is a phenomenon known as glaze-ice , which — if you live somewhere cold — you may have seen before, coating the spindly extremities of tree branches.
See here for more on supercooling and glassy water. Is anyone else reminded of the fictional substance "ice-nine" from Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle? The A. Robbie Gonzalez. Share This Story. Get our newsletter Subscribe.
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