Super-cooled Water

What better place to try an experiment with super-cooled water than the antarctic!!

I didn't actually measure the temperature of the water, but I've seen this kind of feathery ice crystals in science museum exhibits about super-cooling.

I didn’t actually measure the temperature of the water, but I’ve seen this kind of feathery ice crystals in science museum exhibits about super-cooling.

We all know that water freezes at 32 degrees F, which is 0 to almost everyone in the world. That assumes standard pressure, since water under pressure can be colder than 32 degrees. I think it was actually the definition of “0 degrees C” at some point, so there isn’t a lot of information about water or freezing to say “water freezes at 0 degrees C”.

Control was iced tea that day, I think. Other controls could have included artificial cherry, artificial lime, orange juice from concentrate, artificial fruit punch, and plain artificial. The water is my favorite.

Control was iced tea that day, I think. Other controls could have included artificial cherry, artificial lime, orange juice from concentrate, artificial fruit punch, and plain artificial. The water is my favorite.

Another thing assumed is that there’s some seed-crystal. Water can get below 0 without freezing if there is no seed to “teach” the liquid water how to crystalize. One thing that will keep seeds from forming — or maybe to keep the seeds from finding liquid water to grow with — is to agitate the water.

And so, here on the cold continent, we find supercooled water — in the drink machine in the galley. The drinks vary from day to day, but water is always one of the offerings. When the water level is a bit low and the cooling is on full blast the water gets cold, but is keeps circulating, and these lovely crystals form.

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