Learn more physics!
I live in Rhode Island and it is winter. It's 32 degrees F outside. If I put a cup of water in the sun, and a cup of water in the shade, would they freeze at different times?
- Graciela (age 9)
Cumberland, RI, USA
Unless it gets just a little bit colder, that water will never freeze. At 32°F, you can have either liquid water or ice stable forever. Let's say it gets a little colder, so that the water in the shade can freeze. The water in the sun will soak up some energy from sunlight. It is a little warmer than the shaded water. It will either freeze more slowly or not at all.
When you try the experiment, let us know if we were right!
(published on 01/27/2011)
Follow-up on this answer.