MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Can an Ice cube in liquid nitrogen drop in temprature? or not, why?

Date: Mon May 4 13:39:08 1998
Posted By: Jerry Franzen, Faculty Chemistry
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 892915279.Ch

Yes, an ice cube can drop in temperature, if it is put in liquid nitrogen. 
When ice cubes are made, water is put in a freezer which is below the 
freezing point of water, 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Farenheit).  The 
freezer cools the water, and when it gets to 0 degrees Celsius it begins to 
freeze.  The water remains at 0 degrees Celsius untill all of it freezes.  
Because the freezer is below 0 degrees Celsius, the ice cubes are then 
further cooled to the temperature of the freezer.  By puting an ice cube in 
liquid nitrogen, you would be putting it into another, much colder, 
"freezer".  The temperature of the cube would drop to the temperature of 
the liquid nitrogen.  The cube might crack or change in appearance, but its 
temperature would certainly drop.

Sorry that it has taken me a while to answer this question.

Jerry Franzen
Chemistry Department
Thomas More College
Crestview Hills, KY 41017


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