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Hot answers tagged freezing

10

Liquid nitrogen boils when it comes in contact with skin, so small amounts of spatter are no danger at all-- the droplets just bounce off. I regularly pour a liter or so (a bit at a time) out on a lab table when I do liquid nitrogen demos, with no problems or safety gear. The biggest risk from the low temperature is getting it into fabric of some sort, ...

10

One boring Monday morning in the lab a group of us did the experiment, and to our surprise we found that the hot water (in sealed containers) did freeze faster. On closer examination we discovered that the shelves in our freezer were covered in frost, like I imagine most freezers, and the hot water was melting the frost and creating a good thermal contact ...

8

First of all, when you say that trying to crack a pipe is hard work, what you probably mean (in physics terms) is that it takes a large force. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it requires a lot of energy. The energy used in a physical process like that is equal to the force times the distance over which the force is applied, and you don't have to push ...

7

Pipes are damaged when ice forms a complete blockage, and the expansion of water trapped by it puts too much pressure on them. Now, ice is a pretty good thermal insulator, so once a little ice forms on the inside of the pipe further freezing proceeds slowly. If the water is flowing there will not be enough time for it to freeze between leaving the ...

6

Ice coming from the freezer will typically be around -19 deg. celsius, and can only be stored for a limited time at room temperature. As soon as the ice is heated to 0 deg. or above, the ice will melt into liquid water. Liquid water coming into contact with ice will be cooled, and if cooled below 0 deg. it will also freeze. The answer to your question is ...

6

You can have a look at the phase diagram pressure-temperature of water: [Phase diagram taken from Martin Chaplin's webpage, http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/phase.html#b\ , under license CC-BY-NC-ND. This webpage is highly recommended, with tons of useful links and articles.] The transition between solid and liquid is the red line separating the blue (solid) ...

5

In the absence of salt, the ice and water at 0C are in equilibrium, so unless you add or remove heat nothing changes. However when you add salt it reduces the freezing point of the water. This means the ice and salt water are no longer in equilibrium, and the result is that the ice starts to melt. Melting the ice requires heat. Specifically it requires the ...

5

Suppose you have a lump of ice, and you want to melt it to water completely, you will heat it. As the temperature of the ice reaches $0^\circ \mathrm C$, temperature of the ice will stop rising, and all the heat will be used to convert the ice to water. While this is happening the ice and water will simultaneously exist in equilibrium(because all the ice ...

4

You can get localized soft tissue damage rather like a burn from sustained contact with moderate amounts of cryogenic liquids, and large amounts can freeze flesh solid---which is really bad. Small amounts will dance on your skin because of the vapor barrier that develops as they vaporize. Treat cryogenic materials with respect. Think about what you're ...

4

Liquid nitrogen will not moisten human skin, so short contact with small amount of it should not be too harmful -- it would just float on a evaporated portion of itself like water over very hot pan; yet of course putting a hand into a container with it is not a good idea. From what I have heard, the biggest problem is when you pour it on your shoes, because ...

4

When water freezes, you get ice. Ice, like many solid materials, forms a crystalline structure. In the case of water, the crystalline structure may be attributed to the hydrogen bond, a special kind of an attractive interaction. So a big chunk of ice will have a crystalline structure - preferred directions, translational symmetry, and some rotational ...

4

Most materials contract on cooling. The notable exception to the rule are some phase transitions and water. But even ice contracts on cooling. Water expands on cooling only between $0^\circ\text{C}$ and $4^\circ\text{C}$ (including phase transition). This corresponds to the part of the graph below, in which density rises with temperature (note suppressed ...

4

Adding salt to water makes it freeze at a lower temperature. This fact is being used in two different ways in the two scenarios you mention. Dissolving sodium chloride in water is slighly endothermic, but this effect is small and to the best of my knowledge isn't important in the drink cooling process. Putting salt on the highway is quite straightforward: ...

4

Water is an unusual substance in that it expands when it freezes. Evidently this expansion wasn't enough to burst the bottle in your case, but it left the bottle's contents under pressure. After you'd defrosted it for a while there was, presumably, some ice and some water in the bottle. Because the ice was taking up more volume than it did when it was water, ...

4

The answer to this question is "probably not". The reason for this is quite interesting. Ice skates have such low friction because a layer of water forms in between the ice and the blades. In order for this to happen, you need a substance that will turn from solid to liquid when it's compressed, which (according to thermodynamics) is the same thing as ...

4

As we also all know that salt water has a freezing point much lower than 0$^\circ$C (and a boiling point higher than 100$^\circ$C). This is because of changes in the entropy of the solution (see the wiki for more details). The cells in poultry (and the "stuff" in between the cells) don't contain pure, distilled water (which freezes at 0$^\circ$C), but ...

3

It is called sublimation. It is how ice cubes disappear in the freezer. Snow and ice sublime, although more slowly, below the melting point temperature. This allows a wet cloth to be hung outdoors in freezing weather and retrieved later in a dry state. I .... Sublimation is the process of transformation directly from the solid phase to the gas ...

3

Water is very odd in that it expands when it freezes - almost everything else contracts. I don't know what material has the largest volume change on freezing. But among liquids - organic solvents, with much weaker bonds between molecules than water, tend to have much larger expansivities. There is a very odd material (zirconium tungstate) that shrinks as ...

3

I'm answering my own question. Apparently this is one of those rare cases when the physicist must doubt what he observed -- or what he thought he observed -- and believe the numbers his theory yielded instead. From further experiments I've noticed that the ice tends to form thin plates inside the supercooled water once the crystallization process starts ...

3

If the temperature is not much below freezing, the rate of heat transfer from your plants (and particularly from the earth around their roots) is low, if there is a lot of water present, the high heat of fusion means that it will take a long time to actually freeze much of it. So maybe the plant makes it through the night without too much damage. Note that ...

3

It's the same temperature because it's the only temperature at which the liquid phase and the solid phase may co-exist – which is a symmetric description of the temperature. When we add heat to this mixture of "ice" and liquid, it will keep the temperature at the same point but the percentage of "ice" will be decreasing, and only when all the "ice" is ...

2

I would say it is a simple case of heat transfer. The new water (from the mains) is above freezing (usually by 10C or more), so the flow is transfering heat from the relatively warm input water. I would also say, that the opening through the end of the pipe might act a bit as a pressure relief valve, i.e. some freezing of the contents of a closed pipe means ...

2

It's actually got a lot more to do with chemistry than physics: it takes energy to break chemical bonds, and energy is released when said bonds are formed. Essentially, the most important factor here is the intermolecular forces at work between water molecules: hydrogen bonding. The hydrogen bonding that causes water to solidify releases energy into its ...

2

While this may be true, a better option is actually to spray your plants with water. When water freezes, it releases heat (a little counterintuitive, I know, but that's why you have to put water in a cold place to freeze it - you have to take away heat). So, if your plants have a thin layer of water on them that freezes, it actually helps keep them warmer. ...

2

There is a simpler way to do the calculation, though using it also gives me 7% of the water freezing. The heat needed to warm the water from T degrees below zero is simply: $$E = MTC_w$$ where $M$ is the mass of the water, $T$ is the degrees below zero and $C_w$ is the specific heat of water (assumed constant over this range). The heat released when a mass ...

2

K Libbrecht has a nice paper that answers your question in considerable detail and has some nice pictures-- his homepage: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/publist/kglpub.htm Scroll down to the article in American Scientist in his publications list "The Formation of Snow Crystals," K. G. Libbrecht, American Scientist 95, 52-59 (2007). View pdf. the pdf is ...

2

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).

2

The cheap answer to your question is "a gas," probably most specifically helium since it stays a gas longer than anything else as it gets colder. Your question boils down to how the ratio of two forces changes with temperature. First you have the separation forces that push molecules or atoms apart, and then you have the binding forces that pull the ...

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