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Why does adding salt to ice and water cool my six pack faster than just ice and water alone?
- Jeff (age 21)
Cincinnati, OH U.S.A
The six pack is mostly in contact with the liquid. The liquid stays
near the melting temperature so long as ice is floating in it. The
melting temperature is lower for ice in salt water than in pure water.
We explain the reason in other answers on this site. The essential idea
is that as the water melts it gives the salt ions more states to run
around in, i.e. increases their entropy, and that promotes melting.
(republished on 07/25/06)
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