How does the transfer of heat takes place from ice below 0 degree celcius to water at room temperature? Does it take place by conduction? Does temperature of water rises uniformly throughout or it first increases near the surface of ice?

When some ice at 0 degree celcius kept in a beaker is heated, does the temperature of water formed by melting of ice increases simultaneously with melting of ice or temperature of water remains constant till all the ice is melt? Also Give logic behind your explanation

  • $\begingroup$ If you want heat to flow from a cold object to a warmer object, this can only happen if the pressure is decreases dramatically or similar. $\endgroup$
    – Steeven
    Mar 12, 2016 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ It cannot be answered if the heat transfer is by conduction, before the system is known. Can you describe and make a sketch of the setup? Are we talking ice in a water bath, or ice alone melting or ice on the table and water in a bowl beside it? $\endgroup$
    – Steeven
    Mar 12, 2016 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Steeven discuss both the cases. First part of my question deals with the case of ice kept in water bath and next part deals with melting of ice alone. $\endgroup$
    – cool joey
    Mar 12, 2016 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


This is a pretty complicated heat transfer problem you are posing. The first question that needs to be addressed is "what happens close the interface between the ice and water when they are brought into initial contact?" If we were dealing with two solids at different temperatures (and no phase change), the interface would initially come to a temperature somewhere between that of the two bulk solids, and remain at that temperature for a while. The heat transfer would be dominated by conduction. In your case, there is a phase change, so it would be a little more complicated. First consider the case where the ice is at 0 C initially. Why? If you can't analyze that, then you certainly won't be able to analyze the case where the ice temperature is initially lower. So, for this simpler case, what is the temperature at the boundary?

Further on into the analysis of this problem, you need to decide whether you want to assume that the heat transfer takes place with stirring and/or natural convection of the water, or whether you want to consider the limit where no convection is occurring. In the latter case, the heat transfer would be dominated by conduction throughout the process (and there would be substantial temperature gradients present).


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