Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Boiling Water Freezes Faster Than Cold Water...

... at least when it's -10 degrees outside!

We boiled a giant stock pot full of water, then convinced Matt to toss it into the air for us. This is what happened:

That big cloud isn't steam--it's snow! Or rather weensy little ice crystals, same difference. Because the boiling water wants to be steam, when you toss it into the air it breaks apart into droplets so tiny that they freeze instantly and then waft in the air around you like a cloud.

I didn't take photos because my fingers were already numb, but I also blew bubbles for the girls. I had to stand in the open doorway of our house to do this; otherwise the bubble solution would freeze on the wand as I was bringing it to my mouth. But if I blew the bubbles while standing somewhere warmer, towards the outdoors, then they'd float for a few seconds, hit the freezing air, then drop like rocks as they froze themselves. The girls could actually find and pick up the plastic-looking, popped bubble membranes.

It's a smidge warmer today--seven degrees, instead of -10, but I must leave you now, since Syd just walked past the window next to where I'm working, allowing me to see that she's hat-less. It probably takes a total of two minutes longer to get frostbite on your ears at 7 degrees than it does at -10 degrees!


Tina said...

Ok, that was just totally awesome! Thankfully it's too warm to try that right now, but I'm not dumb enough to think we will make it the rest of winter at our current 20-30 degree weather.

Filed away for a freezing cold day!

julie said...

Your temperatures are probably better for blowing bubbles than our temperatures are, though. It was really probably too cold for us to do that project, since there just wasn't enough time to get the bubble solution going before it froze. At twenty degrees, though, you'd probably be able to blow the bubble okay, then watch it for several seconds before it freezes.


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