Monday, November 11, 2013

Melting Away

This week we investigated what happens to the temperature of ice as it melts. We measured the temperature every minutes for 10 minutes, while checking to see if the water was solid, liquid, or gas.

Initially the temperature was a FREEZING -10° C. Not surprisingly the temperature started to rise, but then something funny happened.  As the temperature approached 0° C, it stopped changing. Yet, the ice was still melting. Clearly heat from the surroundings was being absorbed by the ice, but to look at the temperature, you'd never know it. Then, as soon as all the ice was melted into water, the temperature started to climb once again. 

From this experiment we learned two things: 
1) The freezing point of water is 0° C
2) At this temperature, the energy flowing from the environment into the ice is being used to change the water from a solid to a liquid, resulting in a constant temperature until all the water is in the liquid state.  

We see the same thing happen as substances move between liquid and gas states.

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