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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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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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  • $\begingroup$ thank you! is there any alternative for nitrogen? something for DIY? $\endgroup$ – Oleh Sky Dec 17 '12 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ 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? $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Dec 17 '12 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Bernhard Do It Yourself $\endgroup$ – HDE Dec 17 '12 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ 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? $\endgroup$ – twistor59 Dec 17 '12 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ @OlehSky Alternatives? Sure, you could use liquid argon...but you don't gain anything as it is more expensive. Or liquid hydrogen or oxygen, but those present more hazards. Something DIY? Doubt it. For something with substantial water content (like an apple) you could try dry ice. I don't know if that will be cold enough. LN2 is inexpensice as cryomaterials go and relatively safe to handle (which is not to say that you can't get hurt if you do something stupid: best to learn from someone with experience). $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Dec 17 '12 at 13:53

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