Ice Cube Shape vs Melting

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007

Does the shape of an ice cube affect the rate at which the ice cube will melt?
- Brady (age 10)
Sherburn MN USA
Well, an ice cube melts because it absorbs heat from the atmosphere and the solid water molecules start moving faster (See our human atoms demo). The outer surface of the ice cube absorbs the heat and it starts melting first. The amount of heat an ice cube could absorb would depend on its surface area.

In case you haven’t taken geometry, surface area is the total area of all the surfaces of an object. The more surface area an icecube has, the more energy it can absorb from the atmosphere, and the more quickly it can melt


(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer