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For some biological testing reason, I have to place some tubes in a frozen sea ice environment.

I need to choose a proper material. I would like something that leaves the visible light field within the ice as undisturbed as possible. Therefore, no scattering, and no absorption (that could warm up the surroundings).

What would be your advice? I was thinking in thin acrylic glass.

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Light is scattered where it meets a change in the refractive index. So what you want is a container with the same refractive index as ice.

The problem is that ice has a refractive index of around 1.31 while all the common transparent solids have refractive indices nearer 1.5. Acrylic glass has a refractive index of 1.49, which is basically the same the refractive index of glass at 1.50.

So I don't think it's going to make a lot of difference what material you use. Glass has a higher thermal conductivity than acrylic, so if you're concerned to keep the temperature stable I would choose glass. Glass is also harder than acrylic so it's less likely to get scratched and scatter light due to the scratches. Having said that, glass is more brittle and will fracture more easily.

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