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Is it possible to freeze an object, say an apple, and then drop it so that is will break apart into pieces? And if so, how can it be achieved?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, that is possible. The usual way to cool down object to this temperature, is by putting it in liquid nitrogen. For an example, consider this movie, where it is done with a tulip. The water inside the object is freezing, which makes it breakable (as you can break ice, but not water).

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thank you! is there any alternative for nitrogen? something for DIY? – Oleh Sky Dec 17 '12 at 13:36
I think it is sufficient to bring the temperature well below zero, but with nitrogren you can do this by far the fastest. What is DIY? – Bernhard Dec 17 '12 at 13:41
@Bernhard Do It Yourself – HDE Dec 17 '12 at 13:49
As you say, I think it needs to be significantly below zero to get the shattering effect which makes me wonder if there's something required additional to just the freezing of the water content? – twistor59 Dec 17 '12 at 13:49
how much is "significantly" enough? will -5°C do? or, as in case with nitrogen more than -40°C and so? Is there any relation between the mass (water content) and the temperature in this case? – Oleh Sky Dec 17 '12 at 13:52

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