Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: colder ice

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 04/24/2009
Q:
If pure water freezes at 32F, when it is exposed to a colder environment the temperature of the ice will get colder. 1)If ice gets colder than 32F, does the the temperature become uniform throughout, or does the surface region get colder where it is exposed to a colder environment and the temperature of the ice rise towards 32F the further from the surface you get? 2) Will the ice stay at the colder temperature once the cold source is removed?
- Matthew (age 14)
Tampa, Florida
A:
1. If the ice is in a colder environment, it will cool from the outside in. The outside will initially be colder. After a while, though, all the ice will reach essentially the same temperature. That's not a special feature of ice. It's a general property of the physical world. Things sitting in contact gradually approach having the same temperature.

2.The ice will gradually reach the temperature of its environment, whatever that temperature might be.

Mike W.

(published on 04/24/2009)

Follow-up on this answer.