Phenomena

Supercooling Thermodynamics

Featured Video Play Icon

In the latest Gastrofiscia episode, Tippe Top Physics takes on thermodynamics and the complicated truth behind certain phase changes. Although we’re accustomed to thinking of water freezing at 0 degrees Celsius and boiling at 100 degrees Celsius, reality is more complex, and temperature is only one of the factors that goes into a change of phase. Pressure and purity also play an important role. 

This is why it’s possible, for instance, to supercool purified water to below 0 degrees Celsius without freezing it. Liquid water needs a nucleus to serve as a seed for its freezing. Without dust or other impurities, it takes a lot of energy for water to spontaneously generate its own nucleus. Check out the full video to see how and why that’s so. (Image and video credit: Tippe Top Physics)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: