Phenomena

Rapid Freezing

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Thermodynamics can play strange games with liquids.  Here a bottle of chilled soda water is used to demonstrate a method of rapid freezing.  Because the water is at a higher pressure than atmospheric, its temperature can be lower than the normal freezing point in a standard atmosphere.  This is why the soda water remains a liquid in the bottle.  However, when the bottle is opened, the pressure drops and the water’s temperature is too low to remain a liquid, so it rapidly freezes in the bottle. A similar mechanism may be at work below Antarctic glaciers. As the internal flow beneath the ice sheet forces water up submerged mountainsides, the pressure drops, causing the water to freeze into new ice at the bottom of the glacier. 

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