Not Bike Related But Absoultely Amazing! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 4 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 7:12 am Thread Starter
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Not Bike Related But Absoultely Amazing!

This is for all you scientists out there, especially those of you who live in the frozen north! The guy in this video shows a bottle of water at -20°C which he says did not freeze until he shook it, turned it upside down, and tapped it on the bottom at which point it instantly froze. IS this video magic or some little known law of physics?

http://www.sootoday.com/content/news...ryNumber=50683

Lynn Keen
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post #2 of 4 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 9:57 am
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Re: Not Bike Related But Absoultely Amazing!

something to do with nucleation points, I'm guessing?

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post #3 of 4 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 10:53 am
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Re: Not Bike Related But Absoultely Amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke
something to do with nucleation points, I'm guessing?

It does indeed involve nucleation. As we all know water freezes below 0 degrees Celsius (32F). Ice crystals form more easily when they can attach to something such as a dust particle or other crystals that have already formed. This process of initiating the crystallization process is what is known as "nucleation." Seeding clouds with silver iodine or dry ice in hopes of causing rain or snow involves a similar scientific principle.

In the absence of impurities in the water or scratches or imperfections in the bottle, the water may remain in its liquid state even below the freezing point. This supercooled state is said to be "metastable." The water will stay liquid until something (such as shaking it) causes it to “nucleate” i.e start the crystallization process. Once the process is started, the crystals will build on each other and spread through the water in the bottle.

The opposite effect is superheating and can be demonstrated in the microwave. A clean cup of water can be heated above the boiling point without “bubbling”. However, if you introduce something such as instant coffee crystals, it will begin to boil violently. If you try it, be very careful.

We used to do both superheating and supercooling experiments in chemistry class. Not a mystery, but still a fun “parlor trick” for someone who has never seen it happen.

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post #4 of 4 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 1:14 pm
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Re: Not Bike Related But Absoultely Amazing!

We have an agreement on this process. This is from one of my best friends. Interesting anecdote about WWII.

This one is simple. Water requires a nucleus or some additional energy to freeze. Pure water will remain liquid well below freezing until motion starts the process which then happens almost instantly. There is a documented example of this happening during World War 2 outside of Leningrad. German shells stampeded a herd of horses who ran into a liquid pond. The energy from their entry was enough to start the freezing process. The horses died an agonizing death in the suddenly frozen pond.
The water bottle guy could have achieved the same effect (if he could have without moving the bottle) by dropping a minute particle into the bottle. This is one of the many peculiarities of the water molecule. At the same temperature and pressure, water often exists in three states at once, solid, liquid, and gas. It is the only compound I am aware of that decreases in density as a solid, which is why ice floats.
I doubt if the water bottle guy could have achieved the same results from tap water since it has move dissolved minerals and usually has some microscopic solids.

Take care,
Chris

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God" Kurt Vonnegut

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