City-Data Forum The temperature of ice (material, function, best, scientist)
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01-14-2015, 06:32 PM
 Location: East Millcreek 2,351 posts, read 4,939,307 times Reputation: 2547

Last weekend I was refilling a friend's cocktail and started to toss the old, mostly melted ice into the sink. He told me the ice was OK, just fill it up. I responded that the old ice had warmed up and it would be better to get some cold(er) ice from the freezer.

This revealed that he had no idea that ice could be different temperatures - he seemed to figure it was just "below freezing" and didn't get that ice could be 32deg F, or 20deg F or -150deg F or whatever. In principal it's no different than any other material having a sharp melting and boiling point, whether iron or oxygen. The only difference is the magnitude of the differences and temp range for a given phase. There was little point in getting into the idea of a phase diagram.

Still, he's an intelligent guy, so this surprised me. I tested this on several other people as well (none skiers, ice climbers or winter sports enthusiasts). None had any concept that ice [under terrestrial conditions] could be other about 32deg F.

Ask yourself and your friends this same question and share your findings with us here. I fear that the answers will reveal much about the deplorable state of our nation's science education.

01-14-2015, 08:07 PM
 Location: Sarasota FL 6,528 posts, read 8,627,071 times Reputation: 6048
I'm not a scientist but I think anyone can determine the temperature of ice. If you place water in a freezer of a refrigerator, it will freeze when it hits 32 degrees. Almost all freezers maintain a temperature of 0 degrees, therefor, the temp. of the ice has to be 0 degrees, while in the freezer.

01-14-2015, 08:41 PM
 Location: East Millcreek 2,351 posts, read 4,939,307 times Reputation: 2547
Quote:
 Originally Posted by d4g4m I'm not a scientist but I think anyone can determine the temperature of ice. If you place water in a freezer of a refrigerator, it will freeze when it hits 32 degrees. Almost all freezers maintain a temperature of 0 degrees, therefor, the temp. of the ice has to be 0 degrees, while in the freezer.
Yes, and this would be a great answer if the question were "how to determine temperature of ice in a 0deg freezer." The question - somewhat rephrased - is "how many people believe the temp of ice can vary?" My sample of 2 suggest that the answer is not many.

01-14-2015, 09:04 PM
 Location: Westwood, MA 3,481 posts, read 4,366,329 times Reputation: 4482
Maybe your friend is smarter than you give him credit for because he was right. Cold ice really isn't much better than warm ice.

Latent heat of melting for ice = 3.3e5 J/kg
Heat capacity of ice = 1.96e3 J/kgK

Unless your freezer is closer to -150C than -15C, the dominant effect is the ice melting. For normal freezers it's more like a 10% effect. Hardly worth the trip.

As for the deplorable stat of our nation's science education, I think we do OK.

01-14-2015, 09:53 PM
 Location: Greater NYC, USA 2,762 posts, read 2,628,834 times Reputation: 1707
Quote:
 When ice melts, it absorbs as much energy as it would take to heat an equivalent mass of water by 80 °C. During the melting process, the temperature remains constant at 0 °C. While melting, any energy added breaks the hydrogen bonds between ice (water) molecules.
Wikipedia !

Ice can be a range of temperatures, but I have never considered that the Ice in your bourbon glass will have a range. Now in the Freezer the temperature is typically -3 to -4, at 0 Ice Melts, while it's melting it's temperature remains at 0. (All numbers are at C).

01-14-2015, 10:26 PM
 Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama 16,876 posts, read 51,413,686 times Reputation: 27798
"Ask yourself and your friends this same question and share your findings with us here. I fear that the answers will reveal much about the deplorable state of our nation's science education."

There are at least three different factors at work here:

1. Relative importance. I submit that people have no pressing need of such knowledge and really don't care. Even if taught, it would be forgotten by many. Mention Carnot cycle to the average Joe on the street and you will get a "Huh?" even though it is vital to the functioning of their car. Individuals have different skill sets. Ask a scientist what Kandinsky meant when he used particular colors and shapes in his paintings and you'll get another "Huh?"

2. Lack of complete education. The classic "liberal education" was very specifically aimed at providing a basic standard of education in major fields prior to specialization. In many cases today scientists are trades and craftspeople who know little outside of their field of study.

3. Lack of observational awareness in experiential settings. People regularly see events and make no effort to determine why such events occurred or what significance is imparted. Put a knife to a grinding wheel and most folks may remember that it may spark, but a lot will forget that a knife so sharpened will be hot (as witnessed by many who immediately touch the blade and get burned). A smith can give you a good estimate of what type of steel is in the knife by seeing those same sparks and know how to sharpen it without destroying the temper by overheating it.

4. Drunkenness. Ask people hard questions at a cocktail party and be prepared for off-the-wall responses.

01-14-2015, 10:41 PM
 Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA 13,144 posts, read 18,773,201 times Reputation: 20494
But was the party at atmospheric (Earth) standard or something else? After all, there are 16 different versions of ice.

01-15-2015, 10:51 PM
 Location: Auckland, New Zealand 5,518 posts, read 2,600,972 times Reputation: 2788
The colder the ice the better. Who wants to dilute their drink with melting ice? If it's melting then it's time to toss it and get fresh i.e colder ice. Keeping beer chilled is best when there is no water, just ice and for that the ice needs to be real cold. The latent heat of ice is of no consequences. Now when it comes to ice in beer, that is best achieved by setting the beer fridge just right so as to have partial freezing of the beer. Too cold and all one will get is beer sprayed out over friends and unsuspecting dogs and a porous mass of tasteless ice left in the can. That's achieved by placing beer can in freezer. Great party trick!

Last edited by 303Guy; 01-15-2015 at 10:59 PM..

01-15-2015, 11:02 PM
 Location: Greater NYC, USA 2,762 posts, read 2,628,834 times Reputation: 1707
Thank you for reminding to place beer into the fridge as tomorrow comes Friday and thus cold beer will be needed !

01-15-2015, 11:40 PM
 4,584 posts, read 5,821,226 times Reputation: 5674
Quote:
 Originally Posted by 303Guy Who wants to dilute their drink with melting ice?

I do when I'm drinking whiskey.
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