Supercool

by Nick
Categories: Science
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Published on: March 25, 2012

I made this video a while back when I left a case of water in my trunk overnight.  I get to work and realized I forgot my water bottle, so I just grab one out of the trunk.  When I went to take a drink, there was no water, just a block of ice.  I thought maybe I was going a little crazy, maybe I only THOUGHT it was water.  So I check the rest of the bottles and they are all water, so I grabbed another.  I go to take a drink, the same thing happened. 

I’ve seen this happen with coke before, the sudden drop in pressure from opening the container drops it an extra degree or two, just enough for the crystallization of the ice to occur. Only problem is, water bottles are not pressurized, so how is this happening?

Inside the surface of a water bottle, there are no scratches or faults in the surface, nothing for a seed crystal to catalyze from.  So water can be super cooled, and done at the right rate, made very very cold while still remaining liquid.  This happens in the atmosphere where water droplets cool to below freezing.  You get a nice jumbo-jet flying through that and instant ice all over the wings. 

So as interesting as all that is, here it is for you, not sped up, just my camera and a bottle of water.  Who ever thought watching water freeze could be so interesting?

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