Wednesday, April 28, 2010

32 Degrees of Separation

As you may (or may not) remember from your high school physics class, water is unique in that it is one of the few liquids that actually expands and becomes less dense when it freezes instead of contracting and becoming more dense. This is fortunate for us here on this water-filled planet, for if ice acted like other liquids, as it froze it would sink to the bottom of the lake or ocean, away from the heating of the sun. At least some (all?) bodies of water on the planet would eventually freeze solid from the bottom up.

So... What happens to water if it’s not allowed to expand when frozen?

Also, you might be surprised to learn that we still don't really know why ice is slippery!

Does drinking ice water really burn calories?

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