January 8, 2015 | by Lisa Winter, photo credit: ThomasVogel
Tired of being trapped inside all day during the winter, but building snowmen or making snow angels is getting to be a little too much of “been there, done that?” Never fear, we have some great science experiments that will make your time outside more enjoyable!
Turn Boiling Water Into Ice In The Blink Of An Eye
Image credit: sandsun/iStockphoto
During 2014’s Polar Vortex, it became a viral sensation to throw boiling water out into the freezing air and watch the water freeze before it even hits the ground. How is this possible?
First of all, the air needs to be extremely cold and dry in order for this to be successful, around -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). This alters the density of the air, which doesn’t allow it to hold much moisture. The boiling water, on the other hand, eagerly offers up water vapor. Throwing the water into the air exponentially increases the surface area, allowing more water vapor to escape. The air can’t hold this moisture, so the vapor is quickly cooled and condensed. The water sticks to particles in the air to form the nucleus of a snowflake as it freezes.
For more information and amazing videos on these activities, check out the IFLScience website.