# Does a crushed ice cube and a regular ice cube have different potential energies?

For a question on an heat transfer experiment on melting ice cubes in water and measuring the temperature decrease in water, there was a question that asked:

Suggest the effect, if any, of crushing the ice, on the final temperature of the water

I suggested that it does, since crushing the ice would require energy (endothermic) therefore we are breaking the intermolecular bond forces between the molecules, thus the crushed ice would have less potential energy due to the bonds. As a result, the water will not need to transfer as much energy compared to the regular ice cube (since less energy would be needed to break the ice bonds), and the final temperature of the water will be higher than the regular experiment (less heat loss from the water). My teacher annotated however, that the energy exchanged is the same, and crushing will have no effect.

Am I over complicating everything, or is this answer reasonable?

• You're right that crushing the ice breaks some bonds. However the total energy difference would be minuscule. Chemistry isn't done to an infinite number of decimal places like math problems. So for any practical purpose the energy exchanged would be the same. – MaxW Aug 22 '19 at 3:42