Science!, Science! For Parties

Science! For Parties- Call me Iceman

Iceman. Frozone. SubZero. Elsa. No matter what era you grew up in odds are one of your childhood heroes (or villains) had super-cool (pun intended) ice powers. Well in today’s Science! For Parties, you’re going to learn how to summon up your own insta-freeze powers.
All you’ll need are a couple of bottles of unopened purified water and a freezer. Lay the bottles down in your freezer and let them be for about an hour and a half. After that check them every fifteen minutes or so. When the bottles are still liquid but starting to see the water getting misty and you can tell ice crystals are forming pull them out. Now there are a couple of ways to do this trick. The first is to give the bottle a little punch and watch the water inside instantly freeze. The second is to pour out the water carefully onto a plate, dish, glass, whatever full of ice cubes. The water will freeze on contact and you can build towers of ice as the water pours. Or finally, you can pour your water into a clean clear glass then drop an ice cube into it and watch the water in the glass freeze from the inside out. I recommend prepping a few bottles at least as things can go wrong and you want to give yourself a few chances to have some fun.
How does it work? The secret is in the use of pure, unopened bottled water. If you tried this with tap water it probably wouldn’t work for you. The formation of the ice crystals is a called nucleation, and it is started by an impurity in the container holding the water. You see ice crystals find it much easier to form on top of already formed ice crystals. The impurity acts as a catalyst to start the process of crystallization, Without an imperfection or other ice crystal to latch on to, the water stays in a liquid state even below its freezing point. Water at this temperature is commonly referred to as Supercooled (see my puns work on many levels). Though the technical term for this physical state is metastable.
And now you know the secret to unlocking your own inner ice powers. Be sure to use them for good and not evil. Well, maybe a little evil. Until next time this has been Science! For Parties!

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